The Situation: Basketball Comment Count

Brian March 2nd, 2009 at 12:36 PM

maya-bubble gopher

Jamiemac has beaten me to it, so the 1,000-foot summary:

The Wolverines probably had the most neutral week of any of the bubble contenders, evening out a great win over Purdue with a good-looking loss to Wisconsin. They did not surge like Providence, nor did they crater a la Kentucky and Florida.

A total of 36 brackets on the Bracket Matrix have been updated since Michigan’s win last Thursday night over Purdue. The good news: Half of those brackets include Michigan. The bad news: Most have not updated yet to include yesterday’s loss at Wisconsin. In fact, only five brackets have been updated since last night and the Wisconsin loss. None of those include the Wolverines.

All of the updated ones have Michigan on the cusp of the field; you have to think that a road win over a Minnesota team that either is in the tourney or will barely miss it would move Michigan up enough to grab a bid. It looks like the conventional wisdom that solidified at the beginning of the conference season—.500 will do it—should hold as long as 1) Michigan doesn't gack a first-round Big Ten tourney game and 2) there are not extensive hijinks in conference tourneys. With vanishingly few mid-majors looking like candidates for at-large bids scenario 2 doesn't have a high probability of coming to fruition. Still, you're in favor of Butler, Gonzaga, Siena, and the two leading A-10 schools until the moment they're knocked out of their conference tournaments, at which point they become FRAUDS(!).

As for the Wisconsin game: Periods of zero defense at the beginning of the first half and zero offense at the beginning of the second doomed them. They got crushed on the boards. Manny was very, very good but could have been a tiny bit more efficient. I let out a frustrated f-bomb when Sims missed an open, potentially tying three, and that was that.

I'm not upset or anything, just frustrated. Everything pointed to the team Michigan's had the entire year, one that intersperses moments of brilliance with things like that Amaker-like possession with around two minutes left. Michigan aimlessly chucked it around the perimeter for 25 seconds and ended up airballing a three as the shot clock expire. That reminded me of the good old days, and by "good old days" I mean "I am poking my eyes out with a stick." OTOH, Sims was making NBA-style turnaround jumpers and Manny was rebounding like a rebounding champion and they clawed themselves out of a hole that seemed surely fatal to actually lead at the half. I am remarkably serene about the team's fate and the program's future; that seems to directly correlate with walk-ons at the point and the only scholarship senior getting stapled to the bench.

I still don't get the rotation. Anthony Wright was dusted off and inserted for periods in both halves and did nothing in particular; Jevohn Shepherd couldn't get off the bench, etc etc etc. I've made this observation/complaint before. It probably doesn't matter nearly as much as I talk about it. It's just odd, is all.

Insert complaint about inconsistency of refereeing here. CJ Lee getting a foul for obstructing some Wisconsin guy's path when Wisconsin guys have been doing that all game immediately followed by a Manny Harris drive on which he is pawed at twice without a call is this game's shining WTF moment.

Many people are unfamiliar with the rules of causality. …But who am I to defy many people? I have been urged by multiple folks to forgo a Minnesota liveblog because of The Liveblog Curse. This is a transparently silly thing to believe in and a transparently silly thing to accede to, but the chorus of complaints is strong and I'm not in the business of intentionally pissing off readers. So the best thing to do is to wash my hands of the decision and leave it up to the readership at large.

Determine our fate, O Reader:



March 2nd, 2009 at 1:22 PM ^

I grew a goatee and Michigan won the Citrus Bowl against Florida!

This is not nuts!!

(Of course, the goatee was not so great for last year's football -- obviously goatees only work for Lloyd not RR.)


March 2nd, 2009 at 4:10 PM ^

For my part, I contributed to the Red Wings winning the Stanley Cup last year... but that is a long story. Let's just say, the Angry-Yet-Pacifiable Hockey Gods were clearly pleased with the sacrifice


March 2nd, 2009 at 1:48 PM ^

anyone with a Michigan degree who thinks that a Live Blog can affect the outcome of the game should immediately surrender that document.


March 2nd, 2009 at 5:53 PM ^

That's completely besides the point. The issue is not causation, it's correlation. Sports fandom is completely irrational and filled with superstition - and that's not a bad thing!


March 2nd, 2009 at 1:50 PM ^

So more people would prefer to see the Coner as our QB (or point guard perhaps?) than have a liveblog. That reminds me of the Seinfeld joke about how public speaking is the number 1 fear in the US.

"People would rather be the guy in the coffin, than the one giving the eulogy."

Yes, I know that a vote for Coner doesn't actually mean they want him as the QB.

Sgt. Wolverine

March 2nd, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

This sudden rash of rationality is strange.

I'll say what I said in another thread: fandom is more about emotion than logic, so correlation is king. If not having a liveblog makes people feel better about the game, there's nothing wrong with that. I doubt most of the people voting against liveblogs genuinely believe the liveblog changes the game.

So let's not criticize fans for being emotional fans who would feel better without a liveblog instead of logical onlookers who think about things like causality in connection to their favorite team.

Dan Man

March 2nd, 2009 at 2:57 PM ^

but it's insane to think that having a live blog causes weakness in our shooting and rebounding.

Brian - please - be a leader and not a follower here. You shouldn't allow for tyranny by democracy. Think about Constitutional principles here.

Wide Open

March 2nd, 2009 at 3:13 PM ^

Eventually we're going to have regression to the mean (or in this case *pro*gression to the mean), and liveblogs will lead directly to flawless victory and a national championship.

Therefore a liveblog could be CRUCIAL to our short-term success...


March 2nd, 2009 at 3:49 PM ^

how many of you outspokenly follow a materialist, linear-causation paradigm. I shall say this much: It is insanity! To think that the outcome of a given situation can only be determined by factors of which you are immediately aware and make sense within the pathetically limited capabilities of human understanding is naive at best. In this case, it could be disastrous.

The evidence speaks for itself; because you cannot draw a causal "line" between the liveblog and the outcome of the game does not necessarily indicate that such a relationship does not exist; rather, it may simply reflect a lapse in your understanding! Imagine that!

Perhaps a causal relationship is highly unlikely (I'll admit it) but with consequences so grave on the line, are you really willing to take the chance? And for what? The benefits are marginal for most, significant for the minority that cannot watch the games; but would you rather get up-to-the-minute info on us losing, or learn of our intrepid victory after the fact?

Sgt. Wolverine

March 2nd, 2009 at 4:24 PM ^

Actually, the liveblogs aren't THAT informative. The audio from or the live scoreboards on sportsline or espn will keep you up to date just fine. The liveblogs are great for inside jokes and fan analysis, which may or may not be reliable and useful.


March 2nd, 2009 at 4:04 PM ^

Well, 68% of more than 2,000 votes are "No." And if you toss out the Coner non-votes, it's 82% for "No." Just consider this: if you host a liveblog and we lose, you will hear about it forever.


March 2nd, 2009 at 6:44 PM ^

My working theory is that the Liveblog Curse is related to our tourney drought. When we finally return to the tournament, our Liveblog demons will be destroyed and it will be safe to host them again.