Unverified Voracity Pissed Off People In Practice Comment Count

Brian March 9th, 2018 at 1:39 PM


i can see it [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Jordan Poole annoyed everyone into being mean. That's Ace's take on the season, no doubt, and uh…

"It was just aggressive," Jordan Poole said last week in Ann Arbor, before the team left for the Big Ten Tournament in New York. "Guys were leaving with cuts, fights (were) breaking out. It was pretty high-intensity games in open gym. I think that's when we knew our identity was going to be tough." …

So what changed? Multiple players mentioned the freshmen as bringing a certain kind of mindset as soon as they arrived on campus.

Hibbitts singled out Poole. "He didn't want to get quote unquote 'bullied' or anything like that," Hibbitts said. "He held his own and wasn't backing down from anybody."

…it might not be wrong.

Figuring out Detroit. I have not been able to figure out how much flexibility the committee has to intervene in a situation like the one burgeoning in the Midwest this year, with Xavier, Purdue, Cincinnati, Michigan, and MSU all in as protected seeds. A ton of brackets have Xavier as the #1 in Detroit and Purdue #2 behind them. Joe Lunardi had a conference call recently in which he asserted that the committee was likely to slot teams in strictly by distance:

"If the Committee goes strictly by mileage, Xavier and then Purdue and/or Cincinnati will end up in Detroit ahead of one or both of (Michigan or Michigan State)," Lunardi said on a conference call Thursday. "And I said earlier, the Committee could wiggle. They could choose to put Xavier or Cincinnati in Pittsburgh, which is about a 20-mile difference to try and open up a Detroit slot. They just have not done that in the past. They go one team at a time, look at mileage — I call it drop and slot — and then move on to the next team on the list."

Lunardi also asserts that Michigan State will be ahead of Michigan on the seed list, which is an extremely frustrating situation to be in if it does in fact come to pass:

If they're on the same seed line you'd think that would be a situation where head to head would break a tie for Detroit placement. But I'd brace yourselves for Not Detroit.

One reason there's such a logjam. Jason Lisk took a look at protected seeds over the past decade:

…the breakdown of actual top seeds by geographic region (as generally defined by where the regional finals are held) is as follows:

West – 14%

Midwest – 36%

East – 27%

South – 23%

The East (if we consider the Carolinas as representing the southern edge of the East Region) and the South (if we include the South to go from Georgia and Florida in the East, to Texas and Oklahoma in the West, and Kentucky to the north) are pretty balanced in terms of the teams and hosting sites.

There are too many teams fighting for protected slots and too many regionals in an area with no top-end teams. Lisk runs down the bracketing procedure if you just go by distance, and it boots both MSU and Michigan from Detroit:

#1 Virginia goes to Charlotte

#2 Villanova goes to Pittsburgh

#3 Xavier goes to Detroit (Cincinnati is 263 miles to Detroit, 273 to Nashville and 288 to Pittsburgh)

#4 Kansas goes to Wichita

#5 Duke takes the 2nd Charlotte spot

#6 Purdue takes 2nd Detroit spot

#7 Cincinnati takes Nashville

#8 North Carolina takes 2nd Pittsburgh spot (slightly closer than Nashville but still a 7+ hour drive, so now that option is closed to Michigan and Michigan State

#9 Michigan takes 2nd Nashville spot (ahead of either SEC contender)

#10 Auburn then has to go to Dallas 700 miles away

#11 Michigan State then goes to 2nd Wichita spot 900 miles away

#12 Tennessee takes 2nd Dallas spot 840 miles away, foreclosing Texas Tech and Wichita State from being relatively close enough for fans

This is a worst case scenario for locations and assumes Michigan is the top 3 (which they are on Torvik but aren't on the Bracket Matrix). It vastly preferable to MSU getting an undeserved slot over a Michigan team that beat it by double-digits twice. But it's still pretty doofy.

NIT is a four letter word. Jaaron Simmons was taken aback recently.

"We've got to keep winning games so we keep playing in the postseason," Beilein told his team. "NIT, NCAA."

Beilein and Simmons made eye contact. Simmons laughed.

"What are you laughing at?" Beilein asked, a smile creeping on his face.

"Coach," Simmons said, "I ain't come here to play in the NIT."

Also of note: Simmons is still calling Zavier Simpson "X." Can we still call him X? Amongst all the letters X is the coolest.

Livers should be good. Via the Daily:

And while instant reactions seemed grim, it seems the injury is not as bad as it may have initially seemed. Livers came back to the bench midway through the second half, though he did not play the final 19 minutes of the championship bout.

“I could (have gone back in),” Livers said. “Duncan (Robinson) was just playing good.”

After the game, Livers vowed to be ready for the NCAA Tournament. Aided by the extra week off, he will, at minimum, have 10 days to regain his health in preparation for the Tournament.

That kind of injury could have been anything from a rolled ankle to a Dread High Ankle Sprain. Looks like it's the former.

Report reports that reports are good. A couple months ago, Illinois announced it would undertake a feasibility study for hockey, sponsored by various agencies that want to promote hockey. The unsurprising conclusion:

Ice hockey would 'flourish' at University of Illinois, study shows

A study on the feasibility of an NCAA men’s ice hockey team at the University of Illinois reached a clear conclusion: Go for it.

The study that launched in June found the interest level and talent in the state would help a hockey program thrive at Illinois.

The university has not decided if it will add a team but is seeking information on funding from campus and community stakeholders. Athletic director Josh Whitman told reporters Thursday that implementing a varsity program would require raising “north of $50 million” and called it “probably one of the more ambitious projects.”

That is the laziest possible takeaway from a shoddy "study" riddled with typos, unjustified assumptions, and self-contradictory assertions. But if you only read the front page, yeah, that's what it says. Not what it shows. Frustrated Illinois fan Steve The Illinois Fan actually read the thing and brings up various issues with the report in a Medium post.

Penn State was the best-case scenario for a startup program: huge fanbase, limited basketball tradition, massive program benefactor. They've created a program that generates 1.7 million in ticket sales annually… and it's still only a break-even proposition when you include the women's hockey boat anchor that Title IX lashed to it.

Illinois has zero of these advantages, and frankly it's hard to see them being anything but a basement dweller if they did start a program.

Iowa and Nebraska remain the Big Ten schools at which hockey makes the most sense. Both schools are smack dab in the middle of the USHL. Both have (or will probably have) private rinks of the appropriate size literally across the street from campus, obviating the need for a massive startup donation. Both have large local fanbases and basketball programs that don't often reach the NCAA tournament.

People In Charge Of Things Are Just In Charge Of Them, Part Lots. Pittsburgh's athletic director let Jamie Dixon return to his alma mater TCU without a fight, hired a search firm headed by his old boss, who also happened to be the old boss of flailing Vandy head coach Kevin Stallings. Stallings had managed one NCAA bit in the previous four years, that an 11 seed at 19-13. Pitt immediately cratered; Stallings was booted after just two years.

Miraculously, that AD had already gotten out ahead of the posse:

So Pittsburgh (presumably) paid six figures so the search firm could recommend an old buddy, and the hire has now produced a disaster in two years. Barnes, by the way, moved on to Oregon State in December of 2016, and spent only 18 months as the athletic director in Pittsburgh. It was a costly tenure, and one for which the school now gets to pay the final bill while Barnes is thousands of miles away.

Once you get to a certain level of rich, other people at that level will crony your ass so that no level of incompetence is too high. See Dave Brandon.

Etc.: Football hires Ron Prince as an analyst. New York doesn't care about you. Steve Kerr also thinks amateurism is stupid.



March 9th, 2018 at 2:45 PM ^

I’m a firm believer that Omaha and Lincoln have a gentlemen’s agreement in place that football is UNL’s domain and hockey is Omaha’s domain, especially because hockey is such a big draw for Omaha that UNL doesn’t have. I’m sure a number of Husker football fams cheer for UNO hockey. A UNL hockey program is a big hit to one of UNO's premier athletic teams


March 9th, 2018 at 2:08 PM ^

am not certain that Lunardi is correct about Michigan State.  In their "preview bracket," the committee had them in a #3 seed after they had already beat Purdue.  They haven't done anything notable since then accept by lose badly in their only game against a good team.

I really don't care though.  I probably would not be able to make it to LCA for the games anyway so MSU can have their fake seed and I will watch the better team prove it, again, while Detroit fans spend a bunch of money going to LCA to watch the JV team.



March 9th, 2018 at 6:33 PM ^

means you don't care if the team gets to play a couple virtual home game that they're definitely more likely to win than games in Boise?

I do agree with you that unless Lunardi has some inside info, he's probably wrong.  He had MSU as a 2 and the committee had them a 3 in the initial rankings, so he's overestimated them before.

And yeah, they've done nothing except win on the road against a few bad to very bad teams.

The question still remains: how much did the committee like our 9-game win streak to end the season and was it enough to move us ahead of them.  The answers should be A LOT and YES.


March 9th, 2018 at 11:11 PM ^

You are more likely to have me photographing the game if it is at LCA


I seriously don't want to travel to Idaho, never been there, I just don't want to go there.


Let's be honest, that is a good reason to get the game next door in top of having the red arena covered in Maize and Blue.


March 10th, 2018 at 12:38 AM ^

Parts of Idaho are absolutely beautiful.  A couple of those places are even near Boise.  Most of them are not, because Boise is in the part of the state where they mostly just grow potatoes.  However, nothern Idaho and eastern Idaho are both gorgeous, and central Idaho has its charm, as well as some of the oddest landscapes you'll ever see (Google: Craters of the Moon National Monument).

I'd recommend July over March, though.  But it's worth the trip.

PS: Fun fact -- not sure about southern Idaho, but in northern Idaho, the grocery stores mostly sell Washington potatoes.  They're much closer to the potato-growing regions of Washington than the potato fields of Idaho, and Idaho potatoes command a big markup in the rest of the coutnry anyway, so they'd prefer to send them out of state.


March 9th, 2018 at 2:04 PM ^

I sorta hope we get screwed in our seeding by the committee. It would be good if the team went into the tournament pissed off.


March 9th, 2018 at 2:06 PM ^

I beleive most all of Zavier's friends and family call him X. I don't remember who it came from or when, but someone tweeted out that it was a new Big Ten rule that players must have their legal names listed on the roster, hence Xavier to Zavier. Also Spike would have had to have been Michael Albrecht. 


Thanks Delaney.


March 9th, 2018 at 2:15 PM ^

I am 100% prepared and expecting that we will be a #4 seed in Boise. I will be okay with that as long as the 1-seed is Xavier (and the 5-seed isn't some under-seeded team like a Wichita St). I also expect MSU to be ahead of on the seed line, despite not making any sense (they are ahead of us in just about every computer (and human) poll I've seen -- Media, coaches, Kenpom, BPI, Sagarin all have MSU higher).

MI Expat NY

March 9th, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

To show just how ridiculous it is to simply look at distance. According to Google maps, from campus to Arena, Nashville is actually the shorter trip (ever so slightly) than Detroit for both Xavier and Cincy. It is a bit ridiculous that one or both of those schools would get sent to Detroit over the higher seeded Michigan school.  

Purdue, I get, it's about an hour difference. But Xavier and Cincy could go to any of three sites and essentially have the same result for their fan bases. It's a little ridiculous to go strictly on milage difference under those circumstances.

We'll be Champions

March 9th, 2018 at 2:32 PM ^

As someone who went to both the Villanova-SH game two years ago and he UM-State game the game last weekend was more electric with the top 10 matchup and the fact the arena was 65-35 for UM I’d say, whereas I felt as though that game didn’t have the same allure to it with the lack of rivalry and both teams having he high ranking. The NYC guy just sounds kinda bitter that the Big 10 does this for some reason?

L'Carpetron Do…

March 9th, 2018 at 3:40 PM ^

I want to be one of these idiots 'in charge of something for no reason' so bad.  Just give me one of those contracts/payouts, just once. And I'm not a total idiot - I might do a not-terrible job!  Someone hire me.


March 9th, 2018 at 2:42 PM ^

Michigan absolutely deserves to be at the LCA way more than MSU does but I think there is way to much pressure playing in front of the home crowd. However they did play darn good at the Palace in 2013. With being said I'd rather have them get sent somewhere they feel disrespected and play with nothing to lose! They will go far, possibly a Natty!!! 

Go Blue!


March 9th, 2018 at 2:42 PM ^

I never expected Michigan to even be a top-5 seed nay even a month ago, so not getting a protected seed doesn't really bug me beyond the ever-present "of course the NCAA fucks things up" pang.  

I would also like to add that Kevin Stallings is likely to receive most, if not all, of his $9.4MM (!!) buyout after 2 years at Pittsburgh, a public university, a tenure that ended with his team not winning a conference game.  But yes, tell me more about how athlete compensation will ruin amateurism.

matty blue

March 12th, 2018 at 2:26 PM ^

...this happens every.  single.  year.  without exception.  board experts swearing up and down that we'll be a five, or a seven, or we'll miss out, or we'll get shipped out west, or we'll play nearer to home, or...or...dear god, shoot me in the head.  there's nothing less interesting than people making shit up, about events that are unpredictable, unexpected, and of unknown impact.

literally the only difference this year was that we weren't playing while it was happening.


March 9th, 2018 at 3:14 PM ^

Michigan was looking up at the NIT for so long. I went to every home game in the 2004 NIT run, and was grateful for it. Expectations have changed! 

Rufus X

March 9th, 2018 at 3:28 PM ^

It's out of our control. Get over it.

Michigan did everything they could do and passed every test late in the season with flying colors. Having our self-image as a program hinge on the difference between a 3 or 4 seed or the difference between playing in San Diego or Wichita (or Detroit), or whether MSU or Tennesee is a higher seed than us is just pissing in the wind.

Win the next game. Survive and advance.  That is all that there is to do.

matty blue

March 9th, 2018 at 3:46 PM ^

it won't matter if we're a 2-seed, 3-seed, or 11-seed, and it won't matter if we're in detroit, boise, or charlottesville.

this team is capable of beating anyone, anywhere.  period.

Roy G. Biv

March 9th, 2018 at 6:00 PM ^

Wouldn't Northwestern seem like a great candidate to add hockey?  In the heart of a hockey hotbed, lots of $$ alumni, academics appealing to everyone, etc?


March 9th, 2018 at 6:40 PM ^

a "better resume in every way" as this tweet says, is flat wrong.

They have a better kenpom (#6 to #9)

They have a better Strength of Record (4th to 5th!!)

They have a better BPI and KPI.  Most metrics that are on the team sheet prefer MSU, in fact.

They have zero Q2 losses and zero Q3 losses and we have one of each.

BUT, it is oviously extremely close so the fact that we played and won (both in volume and win %) far more quality games AND beat them convincingly twice away from home means we should be higher than they are on the s-curve.


March 9th, 2018 at 9:56 PM ^

I've seen some brackets this week that included having Michigan in Nashville along with Kentucky or in Dallas along with Arkansas.  That seems like the opposite of a higher seed advantage...

Mr. W

March 10th, 2018 at 1:15 AM ^

Illinois was the first school in the feasibility study, but it has also been confirmed that Oakland University will be getting a new men’s team and probably a women’s team as well. The last hurdle is the rink they will play at. Current situation either has them getting a new rink to be a dual facility for both basketball and hockey, paid for by a donor like Olympia or someone else, to replace O’Rena or to be play at The Palace which still has its ice sheet. Adding Illinois and Oakland to Big 10 hockey would help to grow the conference until other members join.


March 10th, 2018 at 10:06 AM ^

I don't think we have a path to Detroit.  I understand people talking about doing some minor shuffling to the benefit of more teams, but the numbers don't work.  

Four Locations on the East side of the country:

- Detroit

- Pittsburgh

- Nashville

- Charlotte

Teams ahead of Michigan on the east side of the country:

- Virginia

- Villanova

- Xavier

- Duke


- Cincy

- Purdue


If Michigan doesn't jump one of these teams, there is no way the committee will ship one of them west in order to convenience Michigan.  At that point, it's not splitting hairs by a few miles.  The list does not include Auburn or Tennesee who could factor in somehow.