2:27 PM: Golden Gopher basketball is brought to you by Mankato Harley-Davidson, just so you know. WTKA's feed is still yammering about bringing forth random players from the past onto this year's football team. Syndication anomaly?
2:32 PM: Daniel Horton: a weapon. What sort of weapon? Sounds like an ugly start. This is a fairly retarded idea, I sense already.
2:34 PM: Sounds like Sims made a nice pass to Brown, who hit a reverse layup. Second turnover in two trips for Gophers; Harris three; 5-0 M; TO Minn. Horton is hitting 93.7% from the line, causing some incoherent praise from the color guy.
Grier is wisely placed on Horton and blocks a shot. Someone's screaming "move the ball." Monson? A third Minnesota travel. A salute to you, reliably unreliable Minnesota!
2:36 PM: PBP:
Michigan 2 on 1, Coleman with the layup for the Spartans... [laughter]... if there's a Michigan fan listening, he's preparing to lynch me.
Indeed... indeed. Ann Arbor Torch and Pitchfork, here I come. 7-2 at the first commercial break, and Weezer takes us to the commercials. Odd.
2:41 PM: Sims bricks two free throws... and another turnover by Grier, this one for palming. It's raining turnovers again, and again Michigan's doing little with the opportunity. 7-5... 9-5 on an INCREDIBLE CIRCUS SHOT (probably)... 11-5 off a Horton steal and layup. Apparently Sims was just slapped to the point of bleeding and picked up a three second call. Thanks, Big Ten!
Hunter's in and blocks a shot immediately. "Abrams" has not appeared yet.
2:46 PM: Hey, Abram is in now. I think Petway just got a tip in... it's somewhat confusing. 16-10 after a Harris three. I think someone's screaming "JAWHOL, JAWHOL," but I'm not going to make an Izzo joke. Unless that counts.
Petway alley-oop attempt leads to a foul. After eight it's 16-10 with Petway heading to the line. The thrilling action is all in my head.
2:51 PM: THE CHILDREN OF MINNESOTA ARE STALKING BRIAN CARDINAL.
Petway has a three if he wants it.
Does he? Petway ends up taking a Ben Wallace 18 footer, which misses. Still 18-10. There's a mighty groan from the crowd... for some reason. Ah, that makes sense: Brown crunches Vincent Grier on a screen. Dude, first Petway, now this:
To Brown... he can shoot the three, you know.
2:56 PM: Illinois-Michigan State: "delicious." Urgh: Brown with two fouls, though it's still 20-12.
2:59 PM: Harris with the dish to Brown... who is still in why? Harris, er, sounds like he's playing well. Smith, however: two straight turnovers, one of which should have led to a fastbreak layup but the Gophers blew it.
3:04 PM: Tollackson bricks two freethrows after a Sims foul, saving everyone from another Lumberjack Enthusiasm Explosion. 22-18 now... offense seems to consist mostly of turnovers, bricked perimeter shots, and Petway offensive rebounds. 23-18 after Petway splits a pair; Horton comes off a screen to hit a jumper. Probably. Hargrove for three... Abram back in.
PBP: A ton of action with little significance.
Color: Sounds like my life.
3:14 PM: You know, there are some major benefits to listening to Michigan basketball games instead of watching them: the refereeing can't grate as much since you haven't seen anything; turnovers are mercifully vague... holy crap, Minnesota has 11 turnovers! Double holy crap: Petway with a 10-foot jumper!
The Minnesota announcers seem disappointed whenever any shot doesn't go in, no matter which team happened to shoot it. They're probably starving for anything resembling competent offense. Smith airballs a three... welcome to 06-07!
3:19 PM: Minnesota misses to end the half. Michigan up 27-23.
"Basketball's fun, but I need a cold drink."
You ain't kidding.
"I know! Rich chocolate Ovaltine!"
3:31 PM: At the half, Sims is 0-1; Michigan is 2-12 from three, both of those from Harris. Abram, Harris, and Sims with two fouls for M; Tollackson and Coleman with two for Minn. I am 4/4 in the critical category of "attempts to resist making unfunny menstruation joke about Sims."
3:39 PM: Minnesota PBP occasionally gets downright sensual 'bout Horton shooting... and turning the ball over. Serenity now!
3:42 PM: Sims gets blocked by Spencer Tollackson, who's like four inches shorter than him. Some additional dueling turnovers action. Puchtel again dangerously giving Brown an open look at three... Sims scores, and rewards my patience.
Summary of Minnesota: Sims ends up on Hargrove, who dribbles it off his foot. Harris charges into Tollackson, picking up his third foul. No doubt this was accompanied with some chest-pounding and perhaps a hearty bellow from Tollackson... and Brown picks up a third foul. Yeesh. 31-27... now 29. Apparently Minnesota blocks a shot, which does not prevent the referees from rewarding the OOB to the Gophers.
3:47 PM: Grier ties it; Tollackson picks up a third foul... a fourth foul. Indiana is mercifully spared further Harry and the Hendersons action. Fastbreak off a miss leads to a foul and shots. I silently start revising my previous post about Amaker to include much more swearing and turtleneck jokes. Minnesota 33-31.
3:51 PM: Grier is neutralizing Horton pretty well, giving you a preview of what next year's team looks like (now 35-31...). Let's say it has a face for radio. Minnesota now picking up a plethora of non-shooting fouls. I think the crazy guy who keeps talking into the mic is asking for "five"... a hitting from behind major?
3:57 PM: Yay more fastbreak Minnesota points... Hunter with a three point opportunity... yay more fastbreak Minnesota points, prompting an effeminate "woo" from the color guy. Now 42-36. We're getting effeminately woo-ed by Minnesota!
3:59 PM: Given the whole groperation, perhaps Minnesota's station break shouldn't refer to Kirby Puckett "touching us all." Petway gets a layup. Turnover, etc, etc. 10 min left, Minnesota up four. Michigan with 13 turnovers, Minnesota with 15. I'd say this is unwatchable, but... well, obviously.
4:03 PM: Grier turns it over for the sixth time; charge on Hunter. Verging on unlistenable. Minnesota splits a pair at the line, then another Michigan turnover leads to a fastbreak layup... Horton dribbles it off his foot, leading to a jump ball.
You know, at least Mike Davis -- who is a freaking loon and got Indiana to the final four -- had the (... Harris turnover, Minnesota open-court dunk...) dignity to plunge the wakizashi into his own chest. (...missed gopher three... offensive rebound...) That's some Samurai shit there. (Harris three.) Meanwhile we've got (...Harris turnover, Minnesota fastbreak layup...) this. I don't think Martin will have the balls to deep-six Turtleneck Bear, so we're stuck...
...this is how Knick fans feel!
4:12 PM: Minnesota up six, by the way. We have 11 turnovers this half. 6 minutes left. Minnesota misses a three... Hayes Grooms is in the game. Instant offense. Michigan airball... fastbreak Gopher layup... this is pure masochism at this point. Michigan turnover. Minnesota offensive rebound. ... Minnesota layup, they're up ten. Harris three.
So, yeah, this did turn out to be a stupid idea.
4:17 PM: Color guy just theorized that Graham Brown looks like Gary Busey.
4:22 PM: Under two,
Gophers up five. Gopher offense reverting to normal ineptitude... too bad we've given them twenty points on fast break baskets. Now 1:21 left, same score.
4:25 PM: Dude. Five second call on Minnesota... Hunter takes a three after three seconds. Excellent crunch-time execution.
4:28 PM: We're in the excruciating-foul phase of this game... Boone airballs a FT, hits the next one, 55-50, missed Harris three, more foul shooting.
So... this is the last straw, right? Is there anyone out there who thinks Amaker should return next year? Anyone? (...Minnesota bricks both free throws, Hunter bricks another three...) Bueller?
4:33 PM: Dude, Boone bricks another pair. Horton's fouled out, Harris going to the line for a pair. Minnesota still up five; now three. More fouly foul. This is the thing about basketball that bothers me the most: ridiculous, prolonged boredom at the end of semi-close games. Excruciating.
4:37 PM: Grier manages to hit one, Gophers up four. Abram makes a basket... called for a charge. Abram fouls out. Where is Jack Kevorkian when you need him?
4:42 PM: And finally, about a half-hour after we got to a minute left in the game, this thing clatters to a halt. I'm cranky. I want my morphine.
This probably excises Michigan from the tourney. They played a paper soft non-conference schedule. They're 18-10 against a crap schedule, finished the year 2-7, and just lost to a team that couldn't find its ass with both hands in the halfcourt.
A commenter queries:
Can i start the Risk Majerus to Ann Arbor bandwagon? He has to score high on the fat bald guy index, right?
Seconded. Amaker scores a zero on the FBGI, plus he has a ridiculous Kid 'n' Play flattop that was outmoded by the time A Different World hit season two, so he gets negative points according to the Silly Mustache Corollary. In short, he should be shaved, tatooed with a scarlet L, tied to a boat, and floated off to sea. And possibly shot in the leg. But with love.