MHoops-Anything left in the tank?

Submitted by ijohnb on February 24th, 2011 at 6:52 AM

First official can it still be done thread of the morning. 

Answer - Yes.

Death to backboards was a devastating blow.  But remember "The Path."  What was an absolute necessity was 3 out of the last five.  Two wins brings them to 9-9 in conference.  Any team with a .500 conference record in the Big Ten not named Penn State is a good bet to get in this tourney.  Don't look at bracketology, there is still too much left to take place.  One win at the Barn and M is a win against their arch rival away from making last night insignificant, or significant only in the sense that Michigan got robbed.

Big Ten will get six.  Look at the standings right now.  Notice Minnesota's 6-9 clip. 

Michigan - 9-9 in conference. 20(or above) - 13 overall.  They will sneak, and I do mean sneak, into the tournament.  And yes, a first round NCAA loss is better than winning the Mythical NIT tourney.

Don't sleep on them yet.



February 24th, 2011 at 9:24 AM ^

As meaningless as the NIT is, it would possibly allow us to play more games, and hopefully would drive our players to work that much harder during the off season and next season. That being said I would prefer to be in the tourney.

LSA Superstar

February 24th, 2011 at 7:31 AM ^

There is no transitive property in basketball, but a team that went to the wire against both Ohio State and Wisconsin is entirely capable of winning the next two. Remember that there's also a Big Ten tournament after all this, and there will be some pretty good teams in there as well.

A loss is a loss, but last night represented an opportunity that was taken away as opposed to a kill shot. If the players want this badly enough and are resilient enough to stay focused through the adversity a tournament bid is still possible without outside help.


February 24th, 2011 at 8:40 AM ^

any team that has to beat us at the wire has no chance to do anything in the tourney. (i predict that tosu and wisconsin with fall early.) true, we have talent and we have heart and i love these guys. But, we start a 6-5 white guy at the 4! we have no tree. no bench. everybody looks 18 ('cause they are), and our inside game consists of only one freshman. and we were not robbed. we missed free throws down the stretch that would have put this game away. This team needs time, muscle and height. and they need to practice stepping on the thoats of our opponents at the end to finish the job. they will gain more at the NIT playing 3 or 4 games together against other similar mediocre teams then a brief and embarrassing one and done at the dance. The B-line needs an A-line down low and i don't see one coming in this class. morris, th2, morgan are stars, but you and i will be frustrated, like we are now, because we live and die behind the arc and have no chance bangin' it down low (we gave up 9 or's last night), with the big boys who are long and deep. if this was football beiline would be coaching somewhere not in A2.

sorry, it's 3 am, i can't sleep. i'm upset. but this is a truth that one can accept or deny. go watch WH on youtube and see the '89 team and watch the Fab5. complete teams who where big and strong on the inside and outside. We have a ways to go and the 2011 class consists of 2, very talented guards. wtf? we can hope that mclimans. horford,smotrycz, all 6-9+ freshman, will make a huge 2nd year leap with wt. training , having their 19 or 20th birthdays, and gaining some confidence building with experience and technique development to become effective inside next year. we can hope. and we can also hope that the b-man has a b-plan to bring in some real trees in the 2012 class.

now go back to work. do something rather than fret about last night, or stress about the bubbles. it may or may not happen, but it all depends on if our 3's fall. some say it's better to be lucky than good. but night after night it's the good, complete teams that win championships, not the lucky ones.



February 24th, 2011 at 7:38 AM ^

This, IME, is where Beilein earns his salary. Managing player emotions, calming them down while keeping them fired up to finish strong can't be easy, but I feell like he can help focus their energy and emotions on doing everything they can.

Regardless of whether this team makes the tournament, I'm just so dang proud of them. I think I could get used to THJr going all gorilla once or twice a week for the next few years.


February 24th, 2011 at 8:27 AM ^

This team has had heartbreakers all year and still rebounded (except last night - rimshot!), so I'm confident that they'll come out and play tough against Minny and MSU.  You can look at the loss as a huge letdown or a reminder that the #12 team in the country needed a bank-three to beat you at the end of the game.  This team can beat anyone in the country on a given day, and all of these tough late-game losses must be an abberation - regression to the mean a bit and this team could be in the B1G final game, at which point who knows.  I'm not giving up hope for a tourney bid, but even if not I am very proud of this club and can't wait until next year when it truly competes for both a conference crown and a high seed in the NCAA tournament.


February 24th, 2011 at 8:54 AM ^

It is doable, but will be tough.  I love what Beilein has done with this group and enjoy watching them play every night out.  The next few years are going to be fun to watch. 

We need to keep developing big guys who can defend and play down low.  I would like to see us pick up a few more Smot type players so we don't ever have to play smaller guys at the 4.  Being undersized hurts and long term this needs to be addressed through proper recruiting.   


February 24th, 2011 at 9:07 AM ^

If we are to finish with 2 wins that should get us above Illinois or Penn State in the Standings. That will have us finishing 6th in the Big Ten with a .500 record. We would then get to play the 11th seed in the first round, most likely to be Indiana. The winner gets the 3rd seed, Wisconsin. I think it would be a perfect time to get a little revenge and push Michigan into the Semis and a possible dance bid.

I know there are a lot of ifs in there, but this is all the optimism I have left in the tank on a Thursday after a crushing defeat. Don't take it away from me!


February 24th, 2011 at 9:08 AM ^

Last night was an absolute heartbreaker, but I still think:

- win the next two and one in the BTT or one of the next two and 2-3 (depending on who we beat) and we have a great shot of sneaking in.

- win the next two and 2 in the BTT and we're in for sure.

It's an uphill battle and will require a bit of luck going our way (for a frickin' change!), but hope is certainly not lost.

st barth

February 24th, 2011 at 10:21 AM ^

I love the NIT and I love winning it.  It's definitely better than a first round loss in the NCAA tournament.  In fact, I dare say that it is the better tournament.  Extra home games plus an excuse to visit New York.  That is far better than making a trip to Tulsa (especially if we lose).

Kilgore Trout

February 24th, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

Quick question.

What was the highlight of the last 10 years of UM basketball?


A.  Winning the 2004 NIT.

B.  Runner up in the 2006 NIT.

C. Beating Clemson and hanging with Blake Griffen in the 2009 NCAA Tournament?


C is far and away the best for me.  Not even close. 


February 24th, 2011 at 10:36 AM ^

Because recruits want to play in the NCAA, and don't dream of NIT titles. And that's what we need- players. A team that's gone to 2 of 3 Tourneys, and should be favored for a third next year gives recruits a reason to come here. Long Amaker-like NIT runs have been shown not to turn around recruiting. And the team improvement in playing 3-4 games vs. 1-2 is pretty negligible.


February 24th, 2011 at 11:33 AM ^

This team needs the NIT more than the NCAA.  The NIT may or may not affect recruiting, but going one-and-out in the NCAA doesn't really do much for it, either.  

We are seeing what happens when a young team with talent that hasn't learned to win yet plays close games with elite teams.  This is a variation of the Michelle Wie argument that much of the golf world had.  Most felt that instead of trying to play men's tournaments and turning pro early, she should have been learning how to win in women's amateur tournaments.  

This team will start winning those close ones line Illinois and Wiscy down the road.  I think they have a better chance of learning how in the NIT, where they could make a long run.  This team presently isn't good enough to make the Final Four, but it is good enough to win the NIT.  I think a NIT Championship would be a great springboard for at least gettting to the second weekend of the NCAA next year.  

As for what the have "left in the tank," I'm sticking to my guns: any of the last three would/would have been an upset.  I think Michigan has one upset left in them.  I also think they will win one BT Tournament game.  



February 24th, 2011 at 11:13 AM ^

Michigan isn't going to play a traditional style under Beilein.  He wants 4 shooters + a big guy.  Maybe you disagree with it, fine, but it's useless complaining about the team's makeup.


February 24th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

I don't know if I have any thing left in the tank, but these kids probably do. They're too young for this to hurt as much as if they were seniors I'd say. It might hurt a bit more for Stu and Zack but Stu seems pretty zen about life in general and Zack is Gritty McGritterson with a grit sandwich and I just don't see him getting too down.

Minnesota on the other hand has got to be reeling and Michigan State has looked pretty bad. Our team is playing better than either of them so if we can keep our level up and get some more breaks/rolls we'll be ok heading into the Big Ten tournament. When we get there we need to avoid backbaords (AAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE) and end of game shots in general and I think we can win 1 or 2 games. Frankly I don't think anyone wants to play us right now.


February 24th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

Despite the result of last night's game, I am confident that our team can win the remaining 2 games and go fairly deep in the Big Ten Tournament.  Heck, as well as they play, I wouldn't count them out of winning the Big Ten Tournament.  This team is exciting and I, for one, look forward to what kind of damage they can do for the next couple of weeks!!