Michigan MBB in Tournaments

Submitted by get-on-my-lawn on March 15th, 2013 at 9:46 AM

As the BTT is currently in play, and the NCAA Tournament approaches, it has me thinking. Unfortanutely, I was at work during the game yesterday and was only able to catch a few minutes of it on a live stream, but of course I was watching my scorecenter app like a hawk. At first, we obviously struggled to pull away, but eventually the better team pulled away as they shoud have. That is common theme in tournaments for that to happen, especially the NCAA Tourney: The better team lets the lesser team hang around for a while, everyone huddles around the TV, only for the better team to pull away with about 10 or 5 minutes left and win by 10-20 points. This is similarly what happened to us yesterday with Penn State. Thus, yesterday was a success and even though we started out bad, you can expect it to happen as long as we pull away at the end, nothing to worry about there.

But, as we all know, this hardly happened at all in the regular season. You always waited for us to pull away at the end from teams like Wisconsin, Penn St. (that game wasn't quite like this scenario but you get my point), Michigan State the second time around, Penn State the first time around, Purdue the second time around and Indiana the second time around. All of those games that I just listed, we could have won by a good, comfortable margin, but we of course had to make it interesting instead. 

My point is that since we will be playing at a nuetral court (other than Indiana next game which will hardly be nuetral) from here on out, in a tournament setting. We have done nothing but play extremely well in these conditions this year, including yesterday. We seem to play with more confidence, more hustle, and simply just play more at ease in these settings. Therefore, I am extremely confident about the upcoming events and the NCAA Tournament, regardless of the struggles and dissapointments we have endured in the regular season. I feel as if this is just a clean slate and that we will be a completely different team than as of late in the most positive of ways. Anybody else feel this way?

Comments

LSAClassOf2000

March 15th, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

A high-level comparison of a few key stats (using this season only, so the sample size of neutral site games is, as of yesterday, 4 games):

STAT NEUTRAL HOME AWAY
Points / Game 75.5 77.6 72.3
Field Goal% 49.80% 49.30% 46.90%
3 Point% 29.40% 40.90% 37.40%
Free Throw % 75.30% 70.50% 70.10%
Rebounds / Gm 36.8 35.9 32.8
Turnovers / Gm 9.0 8.0 11.3
Assists / Gm 12.0 15.8 13.2
Steals / Gm 5.3 5.4 7.3

It's difficult to say much about neutral site game this season, I would think - 3 of the 4 games were before Christmas, and the stats from the 2nd half of yesterday actually weigh somewhat on these numbers. Further, they were non-conference games save for yesterday. The numbers would say we can hold our own definitely, but we do need to consider at what point in the season the numbers came from, or at least most of them. That said, I would definitely not complain if we moved to 5-0 on the season in neutral site games later today. 

get-on-my-lawn

March 15th, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

When times were alot easier.

1. Not worrying yet about winning the Big Ten

2. Not worrying about rankings and huge matchups against hostile rivals

3. Not worrying about this guy or that guy being in a slump

Well now we are back in that position for the most part. We sort of just are another team now among many, rather than a team woth a lot of spot light on us. Sure we will still have some spot light, but not nearly as much at least until it gets deeper into the tournament. I just feel like things will be a lot more easy going for a little while at least. Just my opinion. Only time will tell and today will be a good test of that.

JHendo

March 15th, 2013 at 10:21 AM ^

The tourneys we've played in were in the beginning of the year. We were a better team in the beginning of the year (at least in the concept that we have not improved and grown over the season as much as the teams around us have). IMHO, to say we're a tourney team or a neutral court team because of what we did months ago is a flawed notion. I do really hope I'm wrong about that though. We do have the makings of a team that can make deep runs just because we have a player that can singlehandedly take control to go along with a bunch of 3pt shooters, but not having a consistent 2nd or 3rd option, reliable bigs and above average D are traits that hurt our chances. Come to think of it, we kinda seem like the Kemba Walker era UConn huskies...

lilpenny1316

March 15th, 2013 at 10:31 AM ^

1. If we beat Wisky and play Indiana tomorrow, we'll probably have the crowd behind us.  I think folks seriously hate Indiana and Crean.  Even if Indiana bought up more tix than any other school, I think the other teams' fans will back us.  

2. In no circumstance is it good to let an underdog hang in a tournament game.  In single elimination games, you have to come out ready.  We didn't do that yesterday.  With out inability to guard consistently, we can't have any mental lapses.  

3. The tournament is a bit of a clean slate, but sadly teams do bring their achilles heels into the tournament with them.  Defense and rebounding allows you to hang in the tourney longer (ie. Sparty, UConn).  Unless we shore that up OR get extremely favorable matchups against teams with those same issues, we may end up with the same fate as Missouri last year.  Great offense, no D, and a first round exit to Norfolk State.

get-on-my-lawn

March 15th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

it certainly is not good to let underdogs hang around, but good or not it happens ALLLLL the time every year. The first couple of rounds you are gauranteed to see this quite bit. It just happens. Nobody is happy about it (if it is their team of course), but in basketball it just  happens.

GoBlueGB

March 15th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

This is a completly random question.  But do they never serve beer at the Big Ten Tourney?  Went to the tourney for the first time and was suprised they didn't serve beer, especially considering the United Center is not on a college campus.