Midwest Region = Nightmare

Submitted by michiganman01 on March 16th, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Yet I dont see a team that really scares me. Texas and Arizona State seem to be average teams that our guys can beat with talent. I know people will quickly point to the the Duke game in December, but this UM team is a lot different. Stauskas cant be shut down by 1 guy anymore and Walton, Irvin, and Morgan/Horford have played a lot better since then. Plus, Duke has really struggled outside of Cameron. I think UM will get back to the E8. I have Louisville and WSU in the S16 on the other side of the bracket, I think Louisville wins that. Louisville doesnt look scary to me, but I think they are a slight favorite. In my bracket I have Louisville winning and going to the Final Four. I hope I'm wrong about that. What do you guys think?

Comments

bronxblue

March 17th, 2014 at 7:44 AM ^

Which has led some to question how that happened with a SOS near 100.  It's kind of like how KenPom always likes Wisconsin and then they struggle in the tourney.  I think the system really favors a couple of factors (good defense, scoring margin) that sometimes skews perception too much.  Louisville is a very good team, but beating the crap out of Houston and Rutgers and a couple other also-rans in the AAC doesn't make up for their struggles against other top-flight teams.

samdrussBLUE

March 16th, 2014 at 11:18 PM ^

Stauskas was shut down for the most part today with one defender. The only team that scares me is the team in maize and blue. Everything depends on how we come out and which team shows up. Are we going to actually move the ball and run offense? Are we going to be smart and limit turnovers? Are we going to do our damnedest to be a partially respected team on defense? Etc

Mr. Yost

March 16th, 2014 at 11:40 PM ^

We haven't really done any of this in a month. We found ways to win...but we didn't exactly have murderer's row.

We do not look very good right now (when you're talking about elite/Final Four calibur teams), and outside of those 2 games, we haven't looked good for awhile.

My only hope is the same thing happened last year. Difference is, last year's team played defense and had more toughness. This team relies too much on offense. When they're on, they're way "hotter" than last year's team could ever get. But I'm not going to bank on 6 games straight of shooting like we did @Illinois. I'll pray for it, but that's asking a lot from ANY team.

funkywolve

March 17th, 2014 at 1:13 AM ^

at least to me between this year and last year is last year if the offense wasn't working great, Burke could create something - whether that was getting himself a shot or penetrating and getting someone else a shot.  At least today that ability was missed.  How many times did UM run their offense only to end up shooting a contested 3 late in the shot clock today?

MSU did a great job of preventing penetration and making UM settle for contested jump shots.

freejs

March 17th, 2014 at 2:01 AM ^

I honestly truly do not begin to understand how people don't realize how gassed our team was. You could see they had rubberly legs within the first ten minutes. This doesn't mean no one can defend us - Illinois gave us absolute hell - but we had absolutely no zip. That game is not an indication of how we are likely to perform on offense on a given night. 

Blue in Yarmouth

March 17th, 2014 at 9:15 AM ^

It is our team that scares me most right now. People who want to make the excuse that we only lost on Sunday because we were gassed are ignoring the fact that we have been playing pretty poorly for extended periods for the past few games. These five minunte droughts without a field goal are killers and have been happening numerous times per game for the past few.

I love coach B and am very happy to have him at UM. I freely admit that I am not a basketball genius either so these are genuine questions, not hating on our coach. I have to wonder why we can't seem to put a decent defensive product on the court. People talk about last year, but we were crap on defense last year too.

I love the way our offense looks at times, but when you depend so heavily on jump shots, there will be times that you go cold. Teams that can play decent defense can weather those storms and still come out on top, but for us cold shooting is a death sentence. 

I just wonder why we can't have at least a decent defense. I have never seen so many uncontested layups when a guy is driving a packed lane. Seriously, guys just watch him go by or try and do the impossible and draw a charge. With the rule changes you're much better off trying to attempt a block rather than a charge call.

Between our poor defense and inability to inbound a ball from the baseline I've been getting a little frustrated with our team of late and my uneducated mind believes this comes down to coaching. There is no doubting we have enough skilled athletes on this team that we should be able to play adequate defense and in-bound a ball from the baseline. Our guys are smart too, so I have to think they take well to coaching (as evidenced by how Stauskas turned the tables on teams playing him with shorter guards). So my issue is why can't our coaches get these guys inbounding the ball properly and playing adequate defense.

Again, there could be a very easy, reasonable reason why this isn't possible. Maybe there is a trade-off with playing great offense you can't also play good defense, but I have to think that isn't the case. 

maizenblue92

March 16th, 2014 at 11:31 PM ^

Article on SI believes that Louisville can not get to a final four. Other than running shit teams off of the floor what have they really accomplished? Their SOS is roughly 100. Of their 5 wins vs the top-50 three of them were vs. UConn (I believe in diminishing returns in cases like this).

James Burrill Angell

March 17th, 2014 at 8:18 AM ^

I agree and we're a different team than the one that plate them earlier in the year. Plus we'll have a week to prep for then since that would be in the round of sixteen. If we play our best, we can bear Duke. If we play like we did against State yesterday (gassed or not) we may not survive ASU/Texas.

freejs

March 16th, 2014 at 11:53 PM ^

I'm concerned. I wonder what the record is of teams that get to the conference tournament finals and lose - I fear that's not a good double whammy. 

Normally, I would say that we would be very dangerous if we can manage to get to the second weekend, but I hate the Duke matchup because of Coach K. We are very difficult to prepare for, but Duke knows our team pretty well, and Coach K will have the gap between the first and second weekends to prepare for us if that matchup comes to pass. 

I still think with the talent on this team and our excellent staff, anything is possible, but this is definitely less than ideal. 

 

Simps

March 17th, 2014 at 7:47 AM ^

I logged in just to upvote this.

There are certainly easier paths to the Final Four, but at some point you have to beat some very good teams to get there. Michgain did it last year, there's nothing wrong with thinking they can do it again this year. People act like the other regionals are just "gimmies" for a Final Four bid.

 

 

reanimator

March 17th, 2014 at 2:36 AM ^

Iowa/Tenn will be a tough matchup for Duke and maybe subsequently Michigan, if that team decides to bring their A game. Both teams have big frontcourts that can punish small teams like UM/Duke and McRae/Marble can single-handedly blow a game open. Best case scenario is the winner brings it to Duke before throwing out a abysmal follow-up performance that got them into a play-in game. Obviously asking a ton on short rest. 

 

Louisville and Wichita St are good match-ups imo. Kentucky would be not be if they made it that far imo. Also would not be schocked to see NC State (TJ Warren) eliminate Louisville or Arizona St (solid defense and Jahii Carson)/Texas (huge frontcourt and Isaaih Taylor) eliminate Michigan. 

Simps

March 17th, 2014 at 7:50 AM ^

Honestly Tennessee is one of the scariest teams in Michigan's bracket. They would be somewhat of a matchup nightmare for Michigan. They have two to three big post type players that literally get ALL OF THE REBOUNDS. They're certainly turnover prone and lack great jump shooters but the size of their frontline is impressive.

LSAClassOf2000

March 17th, 2014 at 6:55 AM ^

Perhaps this helps the discussion if we want to talk about the historic fortune of 2-seeds  in the NCAA Tournament. A very interesting paper came from a couple researchers at Illinois, in collaboration with some other schools, regarding the historic frequency of various seeds reaching various stages of the tournament as well as the expected probability of various seed combinations in the Final Four. 

(LINK)

It turns out that, as a matter of history, being the #2 seed is not necessarily a bad deal as far as deep tournament runs go. The data is from 1985-2010 in this paper, but 67 2-seeds have made it at least to the Sweet Sixteen, and there have been 48 appearances by 2-seeds in the Elight Eight. 

As for what Massey would say about a potential Duke-Michigan matchup if it happened right now, the matchup simulator slightly favors Duke (56%), but a median score of 74-72 makes me think that, by the numbers, with a season now in the rear-view mirror, it's doable.

rbgoblue

March 17th, 2014 at 7:50 AM ^

Am I the only one that thinks playing Duke in Indy isn't that bad of a draw. They have struggled away from home. As long as out big guys don't go through a run of cheap fouls like yesterday I feel ok about our ability to hold them in check.

k.o.k.Law

March 17th, 2014 at 8:42 AM ^

If we shoot like yesterday . . . 

If we shoot like we did at Illinois, we will win every game in a route.

Not to worry about  Duke matchup until we (and Duke) win two games.

The second year of the Fab Five, EMU knocked off defending champ Duke

We have the best coaching staff, we lost the last game we could afford to lose, time to move on.

Soulfire21

March 17th, 2014 at 10:01 AM ^

I guess I don't think that our region is too bad, and I share the sentiment of others on the board:  it turns out you'll have to play (and beat) good teams to win a championship.

Last year we came into the tournament 3-3 in our last 6 games, including bowing out to Wisconsin the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament behind what was one of our worst offensive performances of the season.  We were fine then, and there's no reason to think we can't be fine now.

A couple things stand out to me:

Lousiville is 5-5 against RPI Top 50 teams, Duke is 6-4 in the same category.  Duke is 9-7 away from Cameron (5-2 neutral, 4-5 road).  They're good teams, but so is Michigan.

Additionally, if you just have a bad taste (rightfully) from yesterday's game, there are some things to consider:  an off shooting day, our front court essentially fouling out 90 seconds into the game, 3rd game in 3 days (harder for jumpshot teams than interior teams IMO) etc.  It's not a predictor of success or failure in the NCAA tournament.

dc22

March 17th, 2014 at 9:55 AM ^

Why do the powers that be have an obsession with having duke match up with Michigan every chance they get? The same goes for state and UNC - why not mix it up?

Jobu

March 17th, 2014 at 11:04 AM ^

Why do people keep bringing up last season? Last years team would have had 3 first rounders had Mitch left. In case you haven't noticed, we don't have Trey Burke anymore. Our offense is much different. We need to stop standing around so much. What happened to the backdoor cuts and lobs? As great as our offense can be, it's too inconsistent. Our guards get ZERO penetration. Walton really needs to step up.