The Morning After

Submitted by ijohnb on March 11th, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Much has been covered in Snow Flakes, I know, but the sting of that loss has not worn off one bit overnight..  That one is up there with some of the worst of them.  It may not be on par with The Game 06, but it up there with with M v. Staee (football) in Ann Arbor in 2010, it surpasses Death to Backboards. 

Holy shit was that rough. 

In the immediate aftermath I turned off my phone to not even have to read the texts that were to come in.  Moments earlier Tim Hardaway glided to the right to side step the defender and kissed the backboard to put us up four, and victory was all but assured.  Indiana had given there best shot like 3 times and the team responded every time.  The win seemed like destiny.  It appeared meant to be.

And then our nasty little secret, sporatic, inconsistent free throw shooting came out in full force.  I had been amazed up until this point in the season that our profound inability to make crucial free throws at crucial times had not decided a game before this.  For whatever reason, Michigan is rushed at the line, nobody looks comfortable, even the best and most reliable of shooters.  I did not have much confidence that any of those free throws were going in.  Perhaps this can be a wake up call in that regard going forward.

The dejection on face of key players on our team did not look like the dejection of a team that was determined to rise again, the prove the doubters wrong, to come back and shock the world.  It looked like a team that felt it had given all it had and it was not to be.  Granted it was immediately after a heart-wrenching defeat, but the body language of the team after that loss was not promising.  It is a game that you almost wish they would have lost by fifteen than to have lost in the fashion that they did.  In the grand scope, it may not mean much, but I can't help but worry that this teams chance to make a deep run in the tourney ended when Morgan's shot rolled off the rim.  This team has picked themselves up a lot, I am not sure if they have it in them to do it again.

We will know soon enough, and I don't have any problem at all with the Penn State-Wisconsin draw.  I actually like it, as there is built in motivation with the losses earlier this season. 

But that one was as hard and devastating as they come, for both fan and player alike.  The only thing left to do now is shock the world.  I just don't know if this team can get off the mat in time.  Fandom is a bitch sometimes, and this is one very rough Monday morning.


Blue and Joe

March 11th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

It really hurts. I feel like that is one of the worst ways you can lose a game, and that's what makes it rough.

I hope that we take this loss and do the one thing we couldn't on Sunday: rebound.


March 11th, 2013 at 11:00 AM ^

Stop dwelling on it so much, it was just one game.  There is plenty of basketball left in this team.  The more stupid threads we have about it, the worse it is.  


March 11th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

There's still a lot to play for and I won't judge this season until March Madness is over.

That being said, it wasn't just last night that stung. It was a gut-punch combination of 4 of the 6 losses. I can live with convincing losses @ IU and @MSU. Our other 4 losses all just felt like heartbreakers:

1. Down 18 away and lose a close game with a rimmed-out 3 to tie it at the end. If the team comes out just a LITTLE less truly godawful at the start we win.

2. Lose on a hail mary half court shot that sends it to overtime. I know technically that shot was for a tie but with all the wind out of M's sails it basically was for the win.

3. Lose to Penn State. God knows how this happened. This wasn't Michigan/Toledo in that 3-9 year, because at least then we were a bad team too. This year's basketball squad IS good. Probably the equivalent of an 11-2 squad good in football. It would be like if 2006 Michigan lost to Indiana in football. Doesn't add up or make any sense.

4. Last night. Lose a 5 point lead in under a minute. Can't hit 1-and-1 freethrows with our two best players. Cant make bunny tip-ins. Cant make layups. Can't defend. Played awful for the first couple minutes (down 10-3) and the last 1 minute, and played amazingly for about 37 minutes in between. It hurts.

Any one of these losses I could chalk up to "Shit happens" but part of me feels like 3 of the 4 shouldn't have happened. If you take 3 of the 4 away we are 15-3 and either splitting the title with IU or winning it outright (if you take away game #4 as one of the 3 games, that puts IU at 14-4).

Naked Bootlegger

March 11th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

We hit plenty of key late-game FT's to beat Purdue recently.   Just sayin'.

And how exactly did we look "rushed at the line"?   I didn't notice anyone rushing.  It looked like their normal FT shooting routines to me. 

"Wake up call":  Not sure what this means.  Every player knows FT's are terribly important, especially in late games.  It's not like they didn't care or weren't focused while shooting FT's yesterday.    Did it take 3 missed FT's in the last regular season game for the light bulb to finally go on that these types of shots are important?   No.   They just didn't convert, so they'll go back and continue practicing FT's like they usually do.   I'm sure they shoot hundreds, if not thousands, of FT's every week during practice.   And I'm sure the coaches have ways to introduce pressure situations into the FT shooting routine.  



March 11th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

made a few against Purdue, but can you honestly say that it has not been a thorn in the side this year?  I have come to actually just counting a 2 shot foul as one point and they moving on with things.  I can't remember a team that misses more front ends of one and ones than this team.

Naked Bootlegger

March 11th, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^

Agree.  It has been a thorn in our sides.   We shoot 70.6% as a team, though, so it's not like we're missing every free throw.   Maybe you should be counting a 2 shot foul automatically as 1.4 points for complete mathematical accuracy!

Also agree that missing front ends of 1-and-1's is hugely important.   I'm sure someone has a stat on this, but I would be curious to see our front end 1-and-1 miss rate versus other teams - especially other teams that shoot near the same FT as us.

Lost in all of the emotion is that IU shot 5-9 from the charity stripe. They weren't much better than us.  


March 11th, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

I'm over it.  I'm looking forward to the fact that there is still a lot of basketball left.  I can't wait until we curb stomp Penn State and then Wisconsin.  We get a chance to avenge almost all the pain from the regular season in the next week.  I thought the teams effort was good and look forward to seeing them get hot.  The Big 10 was brutal.  Everyone had a rough stretch at one point or another.  We will be dangerous in the NCAA tournament.


March 11th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

Lunardi has us off the 2-seed line now. Granted, he isn't that great at predicting seeds, and this year is the hardest to predict in a while...BUT. Assuming we aren't on the 2-line now, how many games do we need to win to guarantee that 2 seed?

I'd guess winning 3 games to guarantee it, and maaaaybe sliding in if we beat Wisconsin and put up another good showing vs IU


March 11th, 2013 at 11:17 AM ^

The Mourning after.  

But like someone else said, still lots to play for.  This was a game certainly within our reach and when the time comes that it really matters, they'll be able to draw upon this game and make the most out of it.  The Tourney is what really counts. 

Cali Wolverine

March 11th, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^ sucks...but we have BIG Tourney this week followed by NCAA Tourney next week...and I am fired up about that. This isn't like football where a single game can mean the difference of a trip to the BCS or a decent bowl.


March 11th, 2013 at 11:33 AM ^

"No big deal?"

I found myself with my hands on the back of my head, which was the same position I found myself in after the Wiscy bank shot a couple of years ago.

Utter disbelief.  That didn't happen.  I think if you look back to the bank-shot aftermath, THJ had the same flabbergasted look.  And then came back to earn their way into the Big Dance.

The players were focused in the moment, and that is what you want from them.  They'll regroup.

BOX House

March 11th, 2013 at 11:34 AM ^

The Monday morning sports hangover.

This is a lot like I felt after Bama - just replays running through my head of what could've been. I sat in Crisler for a long time after the game. I just thought about my years in the Maize Rage and all the years when we had nothing to cheer for. I thought about how close we had come. Call it nostalgia. I don't know man, it was rough yesterday.


March 11th, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

  • Rebound
  • Make free throws
  • Make layups

It was upsetting, but not necessarily discouraging.  If it helps, I continuously look to the 1989 team.  They got blown out by Illinois twice, lost to Division 3 Alaska-Anchorage, and didn't win the conference.  They made it happen, why can't we?

We've got issues, for sure, but we can play anyone in the country and play them close.  Our BTT bracket has plenty of delicious matchups I'm sure Michigan players are salivating over -- rematch against PSU, then Wisconsin, then likely Indiana.  We can't save our season, but we can avenge it.


March 11th, 2013 at 11:52 AM ^

know what else you would expect their body language to be like after such a heartbreaking loss in such a meaningful game. Now if they are still like walking around today and in the next game or two, then we have a problem. They will come back and fight hard, and a what should be easy game against Penn State is a good game to come back to and get some confidence and swagger back.


March 11th, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^

My general theory about guys like you who are so distraught over the loss, and are forced to turn off your phone is; you probably brought this crap on yourself.  My guess is you did a fair amount of chirping while the team was winning and climbing in the ranks.  Then, as MSU and OSU stubbed their toe, you probably chirped a little louder.  Now, it's time for your ass to cash that check your mouth wrote.

This is not worse than The Game in 06.  You want to know why?  Because we still have 2 tournaments ahead of us to grab what the 06 football team could not.

I swear, I don't remember a worse fan reaction to a loss than this one.  It's very Buckeye/Spartan-esque and it's disturbing.


March 11th, 2013 at 12:35 PM ^

I can take some criticism but what you just said is complete bullshit.

How would equate what I wrote with somebody paying for "chirping."  The texts that I was referring to where not from rivals but from fellow fans going "NOOOOOOO!!!" and so forth.  I am distraught because I am a fan, and not a fan like you who is all "it sucks but whatever, I am way to cool and important to be affected by a sporting event." 

Please identify one part of what I wrote that you consider to be Buckeye or Spartan like.  It is your response that is Buckeye/Spartan-esque, meaning condescending, self-indulgent, and outright pointless.


March 11th, 2013 at 12:52 PM ^

Well, it's not complete BS.  You did say you "shut off your phone for In the immediate aftermath so you wouldn't have to read the texts that were to come in".  What part of that indicates those texts were coming from fellow fans?  

And you also said this was worse than The Game from 06.

So, those two things are Buckeye/Sparty like, in my opinion.  The fact that you've been negged 6 to 1 in the OP seems to support my original opinion.

Just my 2 cents.


March 11th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

A good shooting team that doesn't turn the ball over but also can't rebound or play perimeter D. McGary can't stay on the floor vs. good bigs so UM is STILL small out there most of the time.

This is a recipe for DISASTER in the NCAA tourney. To boot FT shooting is suspect...

UM needs a 4 that is 6'9''+, I know Belien likes 4's that can hit the three but it can't be at the expense of rebounding ability.



March 11th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

The morning the Plan B pill....I wish we could Plan B the ending of that game and "get another chance" to go win it.

In all honesty, and I was sick to my stomach after that loss which was to be expected the way that went down, I came away from that game impressed and as hopeful as I've been all season.  Are there things to work on?  Yep.  Are there still flaws to this team? Yep, quite a few.  Are we a team that's capable of being beat Saturday or Sunday next weekend?  Sure are.  But damn, we just went toe-to-toe with arguably the best team in the country, albeit in our home place, and essentially won the day.  The score doesn't say so but that game was ours.  That all is true and that's with atrocious rebounding.  Fix/work on that, along with maybe a few things on the "offensive side of the ball", and this team's potential is pretty high.

Yesterday at about 5:30, 6:30 for most of you, was not a good feeling but it told us quite a bit of good about this team going forward.  Go Blue.