Do you consider this BBall season a success already?

Submitted by Larry Appleton on March 13th, 2017 at 12:59 PM

Will you consider the 2016-17 season a success regardless of what happens in the tournament, or does this team still need to do more?

For me, I think if the team keeps playing at its current level, it should roll Okie St and give Louisville hell; the sky's the limit from there. 

But, if the shots stop falling and Michigan doesn't get out of the first round, it'll sting for a while but I think I'm still going to look back on this season as a success.  20-11 during the regular season is pretty meh, but bringing home the program's first BTT Championship in 19 years (and finally being able to hang a banner) will be a great memory for a long time.  Four wins in four days after a plane crash is storybook material.  I say it's a success no matter what.



March 13th, 2017 at 1:04 PM ^

After people were calling for Beilein to be fired 2 months ago, then he finished with a winning record in the league and won the Big Ten Tournament.

If they lose their next game by 15 points.  This season was still a great success. 


March 13th, 2017 at 1:05 PM ^

Winning the Big Ten Tournament is a bigger accomplishment than making the Sweet Sixteen, IMO, maybe even the Elite Eight.


March 13th, 2017 at 2:22 PM ^

Well, this is all feelingsball.

In 2014, Michigan won the regular season league title outright by multiple games.  It wasn't necessary to win the BTT in order to claim a Big Ten championship.  And if the team had gotten knocked out of the NCAAs early, it would have been a big disappointment.  Under those circumstances, I agree--a deep NCAA run feels more important than winning the Big Ten Tournament.  Otherwise, I'll take an actual championship over a good, not great showing in the NCAAs.

I think the Final Four has achieved a status that's tantamount to a championship in its own right (and a very prestigious one at that).  But not the Elite Eight.


March 13th, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

I'm surprised you are getting negged for this (although maybe I shouldn't be).  I agree with you since from now on people can look back and see hard results from a conference tournament win - defeating all rivals in your path and winning a trophy.  An elite eight appearance (without going further) does not have the same appeal to me.  It just states that  "yes, you were good, but what do you have to show for it?"


March 13th, 2017 at 2:30 PM ^

Yeah, that's largely how I see it too.  Could just be a function of the timing--the NCAAs are about to start and people are dreaming about being the next UCONN 2014 or Villanova 1985.  Nobody wants to say, on the eve of the Dance, "more wins would be nice, but I'm satisfied with our shiny new BTT trophy and if that's all we get I'm totally cool with that."  Even though...


March 13th, 2017 at 4:03 PM ^

For me it goes (if I can *only* pick one, i.e., not a B1G reg season title *and* a Final Four):

1) National Championship
2) National Championship Runner-Up
3) Final Four --tied with--
3) Regular Season B1G Title
5) Elite 8
6) B1G Tourney Title
7) Sweet Sixteen
The B1G Tourneys are fun (esp. when there is a special story driving a team, as UM had this year) but they clearly are 3rd tier behind the NCAA Tourney and reg season play; any event where fans (understandably) can say "I'm not upset (my team) lost before the B1G tourney final didn't affect their seeding and they get to rest up for the Big Dance" shows you that it's not all that important.

That said -- winning a banner is a success. I thought this team, with its talent and experience, should be lower-edge Top 25, and shockingly (compared to where UM was mid-season), that where they ended up b/c of the B1G Tourney. Hopefully we can add many cherries to the top of the sundae from here, starting on Friday.


March 14th, 2017 at 12:32 AM ^

I'm a sample of just one person, but before this recent mini-brouhaha over Syracuse not making the NCAAs, I had completely forgotten they made the Final Four last year. I definitely remember Villanova beating UNC in the Finals (in part b/c of the fantastic ending) but Syracause making the Final Four? Completely slipped my mind.

Related, it took me literally a minute of hard thinking to remember who Villanova pulverized in the Final Four (no peaking). But at least I was able to pull Oklahoma. I thought UNC would smoke Syracuse, so I didn't even watch that game, so I guess it never entered my memory bank.

I think what tends to be more memorable, in many cases, than Final Four appearances are huge 1st round upsets. FGCU dunking all over Georgetown? Fun memory! And MTSU will always have a small special place in my heart (though that's obviously not banner worthy).

In any case, I'm not sure what people remember, though for sure a Final Four is a great accomplishment and does get you a ton of exposure. But I appreciate the longer slog and boosted the reg season B1G accordingly.


March 14th, 2017 at 11:35 AM ^

For me -


1) National Championship
2) National Championship Runner-Up
3) Final Four --tied with--
4) Elite 8
5) Sweet Sixteen
6) Regular Season B1G Title

The end.


I couldn't care less about B1G tournament titles, NIT titles/berths... and making the tournament should just be a yearly occurrence that garners no special praise.




March 14th, 2017 at 1:31 AM ^

along with utility experienced for each accomplishment on a cummulative scale (i.e. the natty title is the total of all milestones along the way so 1000 for getting there and another 1000 for winning it)

1. National title:  2000 utils

2. National runner-up: 1000 utils

3. Regional Champ (Final Four): 750 utils

4. Big Ten Regular Season Title: 600 utils

5. Elite Eight: 400 utils

6. Big Ten Tourney Title: 300 utils

7. Sweet 16: 250 utils

8. Round of 32: 125 utils

11. Making the tourney: 100 utils

9. Each individual victory over Sparty: 75 utils

10. Each individual victory over OSU: 50 utils

12. Winning the NIT: 40 utils

13. Making the NIT: 15 utils

So far I've experienced a healthy 300 + 100 + 75 = 475 utils which is pretty good, but to have this discussion now is like counting your money before the dealing is done.

Greatness cannot be achieved if you're satisfied when there is still more out there to be had. If there is another game on the schedule I will always consider anything less than a national championship a failure. Only until there isn't another game on the schedule, and the dust has cleared, can you really sit down and evaluate how you feel about how it all went down.


March 13th, 2017 at 1:06 PM ^

I agree with everyone above, yesterday I was thinking that I could care less if we are the first team kicked out of the big tourney. The boys deserved that banner, I am happy they got it, like all of us. This season was a huge success.


March 13th, 2017 at 1:07 PM ^

I do, yes. Getting to a sweet 16 and competing would just be a cherry on top of what was an incredible journey. 

I just saw that Michigan has the 12th highest odds to win the tourney in Vegas (25/1). Definitely getting a lot of love after the B1G Tourney. 


March 13th, 2017 at 1:07 PM ^

The NCAA tournament trumps everything. The 2013 season ended in disappointment for Michigan, missing out on a share of the regular season title and getting bounced early in the conference tournament. 

It is also the best season Michigan basketball has had since 1993, entirely on the strength of a good run in the tournament. The entire evaluation of the season hinged on Trey Burke's glorious 30-foot shot against Kansas. If we had lost, in the Sweet Sixteen, after the way the season ended, after touching #1 in the polls earlier on, it would have been a disappointment. Three wins later and it was a rousing success.

So there's no way that the NCAA tournament won't seriously affect how we view this season in retrospect. Partly why I'm disappointed in the matchups we have in Indy, because we could easily get bounced in the first weekend and I want to go to the Sweet Sixteen.

Yet the way the B1G tournament happened with the accident and the four straight wins is something more than just a conference tournament win. It was an amazing fan experience, and it produces not only a banner but a singular story in Michigan history. Nothing that happens after this can take away from those five days, from what that team overcame and accomplished.

There was a thread a couple of weeks ago asking people to rank their top ten Michigan basketball teams of all time. This team is capable of playing its way onto that list. 

The season is a success. Now, without qualifier. How much of a success? We're about to find out.


March 13th, 2017 at 2:29 PM ^

I see it as two distinct phases. the run in 2013 tournament was big because of how far we made it AND because we didn't win the conference/tourney.

in order:
1.NCAA title
2. Big Ten Regular season title
3. Big Ten Tourney title.

but really clinching any of these should be considered a success.

Toasted Yosties

March 13th, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

Big success. Quite a turn around. And assuming no one leaves prematurely for NBA and the two redshirt and transfer players live up to their practice reputation, next year's team could be even better. It's exciting to see basketball elevate itself over again.


March 13th, 2017 at 1:10 PM ^

I would feel even better if/ when they make it out of the first weekend. I think a sweet 16 run would be great, and have a good feeling about an Elite 8 run if they make it out of the first weekend. 

Irvin and Walton deserve as many games in the Blue Jerseys as possible. 

Blue and Joe

March 13th, 2017 at 1:10 PM ^

If we lose in the first round it will be a very dispointing end to the season. But in the long term, this is going to be remembered as a successful season.


March 13th, 2017 at 1:10 PM ^

At the beginning of the season, I thought Purdue, Maryland, and Wisconsin were the top three and Michigan could get 4th or 5th in the conference if things went well. They finished in that bizarro 4 way tie for 5th because of the reffing at Minnesota.

We saw great improvements from Mo and DJ. Walton made the leap 12 games ago. Irvin had a horrible 5 game stretch, otherwise we'd be happy with his performance. MAAR is solid. The game really started slowing down for Xavier. I'm looking forward to next season.

Winning a banner is always something to be celebrated.

Beilein's record in 10 years at Michigan is 213-134. That makes the math fairly simple. An average Beilein season is 21-13. The team is 24-11 this year, a couple games better than an average Beilein team.

The problem with the tournament is that 67 teams finish the season with a loss.


March 15th, 2017 at 11:38 AM ^

He went 46 -53 in his first 3 years. I plan to do a diary at the end of the season comparing Bielien's last 5 years to other coaches in the conference. Overall record, big ten record, championships (season and tournament), NCAA tourney wins, NCAA Tourney bids, and see how he stacks up.  I think it will show we've had it pretty good here.