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06/15/2018 - 1:39am Discord username J. (or…

Discord username J. (or possibly J.#1799 -- hard to tell).  I just got an impossible instruction (defend a territory not owned by Michigan).

06/14/2018 - 11:57am I think the game would have…

I think the game would have been a lot clearer if they used city names instead of school names for the territories.  "Attacking Ann Arbor" would still be weird, but I think it's easier to comprehend -- "oh, we lost Ann Arbor earlier, so we need to regain it."

That, or just called everything Kamchatka and Irkutsk. ;)

06/14/2018 - 11:45am Nope; just click once a day.

Nope; just click once a day.

06/14/2018 - 12:16am One I haven't seen posted…

One I haven't seen posted yet:  The RSS feed now seems to include (a snapshot of) the comments.  I'd like to see the old format, where it just included all of the content, and I'd click through to get the comments and some embedded images that don't display when read via a newsreader.  I'd accept "what other websites do," which would be "just the content before the jump," as a way to increase clickthrough and sell more ad impressions.  But delivering the comments really messes up my news feed. :)

Thanks for all of the hard work.

05/07/2018 - 2:25pm Wait...

OK, I'm really confused.

Ted Valentine is Jim Harbaugh's father-in-law?  How did we not know this before?!

05/03/2018 - 10:22pm Sure

TL/DR: It's going to cost them a little bit of money when they need to borrow, but it's not a big deal.

Each of the rating companies has their own scale.  I didn't click through the paywall to see if there was more to it, but the public part of the story said that the debt had been downgraded to Aa2.  Moody's highest grade is Aaa; Aa2 is the third-highest and is still considered very low risk.  (You can see the chart here: ).

Assuming that they moved from Aa1 to Aa2, this isn't likely to move their borrowing costs by more than a few basis points.  Now, on nearly a billion dollars of rated debt, that's nothing to scoff at -- each basis point represents ~$100K in annual interest costs if they need to refinance those bonds.  However, it's not going to bankrupt them, either.

If I were an MSU trustee, the point where I'd be worried about the credit rating is around Baa1, which is a medium investment-grade rating (and still 5 notches below Aa2).  Not only would the cost increases have started to add up, I'd be worried about being downgraded to junk status (Ba1 or lower -- 3 notches further).

That's because many bond mutual funds prohibit ownership of junk securities, meaning that you'd expect a flood of MSU paper into the market, and a subsequent price decrease.  Decreased prices mean increased yield, and MSU isn't likely to be able ot issue new securities at a lower yield than what's already on the market, so that's when the cost of borrowing really starts to become a concern.

04/24/2018 - 3:46pm I was

I was wondering when someone else would admit to having been on that. ;)  I feel like we reached the finals all four years and never won.  Might have been the semis one year... it's been a while.

04/22/2018 - 8:13pm You're right...

You're right.  Context and perspective are overrated, especially in a reply to a request for context and perspective.

04/22/2018 - 7:11pm Right..

This should be kept in perspective.  A 20-game baseball winning streak is impressive, but it's similar to one of the basetball mid-majors winning 9 or 10 in a row in their conference.  Big Ten baseball is a mid-major conference due to geography and weather.  Going backwards from 2017, the number of Big Ten teams with a bid: 5, 3, 5, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1.

Is Omaha possible?  Sure, anything's possible, provided that they make it into the tournament in the first place.  But it's far from likely.  As a matter of perspective -- and knowing that baseball RPI suffers from a lot of the same probelms that basketball RPI does -- Michigan's baseball RPI as of last night was #52, or 6th in the conference.

04/19/2018 - 11:59pm ?

What would the direct object be?  I think it stands on its own.  (It's certainly intransitive in my example sentence. :-)

But have an upvote anyway. :)

04/19/2018 - 3:27pm Cosmiterate

Cosmiterate (Cahs-mit-er-ait): (v, intrans.) To repeatedly drink Cosmopolitans, one after the other, especially in a bar or party setting.  Example: "Bob's off Facebook today; too much drunk-posting last night after cosmiterating at Skeep's."

04/19/2018 - 1:26pm Uh..

I think you mean, "Touchdown! <beat> No flags."

04/19/2018 - 11:35am No

They only quoted the second of his lines here.  His first line was basically that there's no new information in Michigan's response.  The line about "we have no objection if X, Y, Z" is borderline sarcasm -- he's stating that it's Ole Miss's position that X, Y, Z are so self-evidently inapplicable that they're not wasting their time debating the issue.

It's along the lines of "I have no problem with this guy marrying my daughter, providing that he really is the multimillionaire philanthropist and Nobel Prize winner he claims to be."

04/18/2018 - 1:59pm Well..

I'm not talking about diversions -- I agree with you on that.  If you get onto the flight to DFW, you'll get to DFW eventually. :)

The problem comes up when the flight to DFW is cancelled or delayed.  I've been rerouted several times through a different connecting city due to a problem on the outbound leg that would have caused me to miss my connection.  (The airlines can also do it apropros of nothing, but that's very rare).

04/18/2018 - 1:34pm Sorry...

My list of humblebrags was buried under my million-miler status card and the first-class boarding passes on Thai and Lufthansa for which I paid a grand total of about $70.

I'll try to do better next time. ;)

04/18/2018 - 1:31pm This...

This is (mostly) an urban myth.  The legacy carriers don't have the ability to do this even if they wanted to, as they publish their fares and inventory through a set of centralized systems so that travel agents have access to them.  The company that handles this middleware is working on a product to allow personalized fares, which might include this kind of thing, but (a) it's not yet available, and (b) the airlines have all heard of incognito mode and aren't likely to invest a ton of money into a product that can be defeated so easily.

It's possible that Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier, or Spirit could do this, since they manage their own bookings from end-to-end.  However, I've never understood what their rationale would be. "He didn't pull the trigger at $100; maybe we should go to $125!"  Keep in mind, the same people that publish these tips also tell you that you should abandon your shopping cart on an online retailer and hope for a discount coupon to be emailed to you the next day.  It doesn't make any sense for both of these things to be true. :)

04/18/2018 - 1:24pm This

This is much riskier than you're laying it out to be and defintiely not something I'd recommend for an inexperienced traveler.  The problem is, suppose you're trying to get to DFW, so you book a flight through DFW to AUS.  You do not have a ticket to DFW, and the airline has no particular responsibility to get you there.  The airline (AA, in this case) is free to route you via ORD, PHL, CLT, LAX, etc.  You can ask them to put you back on the DFW flight ("I was planning to meet someone at the airport"), but there's no guarantee that there's a seat available.

Furthermore, if you decide to do this, you cannot check luggage, as there's no way to retrieve it at your transfer point.

And, finaly, this is against the airlines' contracts of carriage.  If you do it once, it's unlikely to be a problem.  If you make a habit of it, you can expect to be noticed and punished (loss of frequent flier miles / status, a big bill for the actual cost of transportation provided -- even a ban from flying that airline in the future).

I'm a big fan of ITA Matrix, but I'm not a big fan of Hidden-City Ticketing; for me, the risk isn't worth it.

04/18/2018 - 12:41am I wouldn't...

I wouldn't pay $60 for a Coke and some pretzels, but I'm 6'0", so I would pay $60 to get a seat that I can fit semi-omfortably into.  The only such seat that Spirit offers is their Big Front Seat, and it's generally more than a $60 upcharge.  (They also don't serve my local airport, so I haven't had to make this choice yet).

YMMV, but "any carrier will suffice" is only true for a certain subset of people.

I would actually turn it around and say that experienced travelers know that Spirit is bad, not because of a lack of extras, but because of their limited schedules and lack of interline partners for recovery during irregular operations.

Spirit flies many fewer flights a day between destinations than the legacy carriers (United, Delta, and American).  Furthermore, if a Spirit plane has a mechanical issue -- which can happen to any airplane, regardless of age -- you will wait for another Spirit plane to get you to your destination.  If a Delta plane has a mechanical issue, they can endorse your ticket for travel on United or American, or they can route you via another hub, etc.

I was once flying American from Austin through Dallas to Detroit on the last flight of the day Friday night, with the intention of seeing the Arizona @ Michigan basketball game, which was a noon Saturday tip.  There was an issue with the flight, and I was going to miss my connection.  I convinced AA to rebook me and my wife on AA from Austin to Los Angeles, and then on DL from Los Angeles to Detroit, in order to make it to the game on time.  If we'd been flying Spirit, we would have had to turn around, go home, and request a refund.

04/18/2018 - 12:20am Not yet...

Unlike football, basketball non-conference schedules aren't finalized until the summer.  Last year's final announcement was July 17th.

UMHoops has a short list here:

They'll obviously get a game in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge -- that hasn't been announced either.

04/18/2018 - 12:15am Yeah...

None of those carriers are particularly strong in the midwest.  I'm guessing you do a lot of travel up and down the coasts or cross-country.

They're worth looking into if they happen to fly where XM is trying to go, though. :)

04/18/2018 - 12:13am More or less...

Generally, I find the best domestic coach fares to be 14-28 days prior to departure, but there are a ton of factors here.  In some markets, you can buy discount no-advance-purchase fares for a lot less than you'd expect if load is light.  In others, even if the plane is empty, they won't discount.  It's all extremely competitive, in a certain weird oligopolic way: the major airlines try to match each other's fares, so if one of them decides to add a discount Detroit - Orlando fare, they'll likely all follow.  And if one of them later decides to cut the discount Detroit - Orlando fare, they often follow that too.  They'll often do this with no regard whatsoever to the Detroit - Tampa fares.  It makes no sense, but... that's airline pricing. :)

04/18/2018 - 12:09am No 'U'

No 'U' :D

Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service


Now we just need a clip of Dustin Hoffman refusing to fly anyone else... :)

04/18/2018 - 12:07am A few things

There are a few things to think about here.  First of all, what's most important to you? Price. comfort, or convenience?  There are obviously going to be trade-offs involved.

There have been lots of good suggestions on this thread, but one thing I can't emphasize enough: there is no magic bullet.  There is no single best time to buy airfare -- if there were, airlines would immediately change their pricing algorithms to eliminate it.  In general, airfare is seasonal; summer is more expensive than winter for most destinations, and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are normally the cheapest travel days.

What's far more important, though, is flexibility.  The more dates, airports, and airlines you can consider, the better.  Maybe you're thinking of going to Rocky Mountain National Park.  I'm not sure exactly where you're located, but I gather it's somewhere north of Midland in the LP.  Several of the northern Michigan airports only have Delta service, which drives the price up due to lack of competition.  If you can make the drive to Traverse City, Bay City, Grand Rapids, or Lansing, you'll get more choices.  At your destination, you might find that it's cheaper to fly into Colorado Springs than Denver, so check both.  That's one of the things that Google Flights or are really good at -- letting you plug in multiple airports to see what comes up.

Southwest Airlines is not included in those search results -- they fly from Grand Rapids, Flint, and Detroit.  You'll need to search their website separately to get their fares.  They are often a good deal for families, as they include two pieces of checked luggage for free with each ticket.

The other piece of advice I'd give you is to make sure you've included all costs -- baggage, food, seat selection, parking, etc.  Some airlines will charge you extra for using a credit card to book or for failing to check in online (I'm looking at you, Allegiant).  They count on passengers being swayed by the low fare they offer and then making it up on the incidentals.  That goes beyond the flight, BTW -- if you plan to rent a car at your destination, and you have a couple of possible destination airports, it might be worth an extra $20 per ticket on the flight to save $15 per day on the rental car.

Oh, that reminds me -- if you're tall and/or wide, make sure you pay attention to the seat sizing information.  Airlines are offering less and less space between seats -- unless you're willing to cough up extra cash.  If that's important to you, make sure you include those costs in your calculation.

Hope this helps.  Have a great trip. :)

04/17/2018 - 11:46pm Careful...

skiplagged is a site intended for experts.  You can get yourself into trouble if you don't know what you're doing, as they will sometimes suggest things that have massive side-effects involving irregular operations (bad weather) or -- especially -- baggage.

04/17/2018 - 12:36pm Yes

A team always has the option to use a timeout to avoid a 10-second runoff.

04/17/2018 - 12:33pm You...

You couldn't be more wrong if you tried.  The onside kick is a holdover from rugby.  It's the deep kickoff that is the innovation.

04/12/2018 - 1:26pm Well...

If this hockey thing doesn't work out, the kid's got a future in lacrosse....

04/10/2018 - 6:28pm It's both

It's both.  The floodplain analyses all assumed that the ground could absorb more water than concrete will.  All floodplain maps are invalidated pretty quickly -- nature of the business -- but I gathered that Houston's were worse than most.

You're right, though -- any big city is going to face this trouble to some extent.

It never occurred to me that the streets might flood by design.  I guess the water has to go somewhere... just makes for some terrifying pictures when the entire freeway is fifteen feet underwater.

04/09/2018 - 10:16pm ...

No truth-handler, you! Bah! I deride your truth-handling abilities!

(Remember when the Simpsons used to be the funniest show on TV?  'Cause I bet none of the current Michigan players do.  I'm old... but so is that show. :)

04/09/2018 - 6:47pm Agreed

There's a sit-down place on Guadalupe, near Black's BBQ.  I've never had to wait, but I haven't tried it on a Saturday though.  It's more of a campus location -- further away from the tourist areas.  They also have a bar.

Sure, it's a little pricey, but it's cheaper than a trip to the Cottage Inn. ;)

04/09/2018 - 5:08pm Fair enough

I have a couple of friends with family members in the greater Houston area who got caught massively unprepared. :(

Good point on the crawfish.  I never really thought of catfish as a cajun food -- heck, we had it growing up in Michigan :) -- but it's all about the preparation.

I've found that most of the popular places in Austin are so crowded now that there's almost no point going.  I learned my lesson when I had a 2 1/2 hour wait at the Salt Lick on a random Saturday afternoon.

I'm more of a carne asada guy than a taco guy personally.  But, frankly, I've yet to find *bad* Tex-Mex in Austin.  Maybe my palate is too simple. ;)

Via 313 is pretty good if you miss Detroit-style pizza.

04/09/2018 - 4:07pm Well

Make sure your renters' insurance covers floods, then.  A lot of the discussions post-Harvey were full of obvious-in-hindsight discussions about the way water is routed during floods -- basically, there's so much concrete in Houston that water rises more rapidly than the models had forecast, and a lot of that gets channeled through downtown.

I'm not sure about Houston as a Cajun food destination.  Tex-Mex, sure.  Barbecue -- OK, but the best is in the Hill Country.  For Cajun, I'd expect to head to New Orleans, or at least Baton Rouge.  (It's possible I've just missed out on some good places).

04/09/2018 - 3:57pm Not really...

It outgrew its infrastructure years ago and has been congested for nearly two decades now.  Basically, the city planners followed an anti-growth plan for years -- "If you don't build it, they won't come."  They invested very little into infrastructure specifically to try to keep Austin from developing.  It didn't work, and hence gridlock is a real problem.

Land prices have also skyrocketed with the influx of Californians*, but I'm leaving that out of the equation under the OP's "employer covers cost-of-living" thing.

I love living in Austin, but it's not the same city it was when I first moved here 20 years ago.

* California has a law where property tax assessments don't change until a property is sold.  This has caused a vicious cycle in home prices -- people have a disincentive to move within California, so fewer houses go on the market, so prices tend to rise, which gives a greater disincentive to move.  Eventually, people who have lived in California long enough are sitting on massive home equity, but simply can't afford to move within the state because their salary won't cover the taxes on the new property value.  Lots of those people took their massive capital gains and moved to Austin.  This started at a time when you could get 5x the home in Austin for the price vs. the Bay Area.  Austin inventory couldn't keep up with the unexpected demand, and home prices skyrocketed.

04/09/2018 - 3:45pm There...

There are few good things about living in Houston.  I mean, if the airport is your major attraction... :)   (PS:  You'll quickly learn to hate United's fares from IAH).

Houston is basically swampland.  The summers are awful.  It's extremely humid.

If you move there, buy flood insurance, even if it's not required by law.

04/09/2018 - 3:42pm ...

Well, your username is NYC Fan... :)

Honestly, it's a matter of personal preference.  You couldn't pay me enough to live in New York; obviously, lots of other people love it.  If you can't wait to break out the hockey skates and snowshoes, don't move to Florida.

Nationally, people are moving southwest -- Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, Dallas, Los Angeles, etc.

BTW -- lots of people are suggesting Maui, and I understand why -- but island fever is a real thing.  Hawaii is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

04/07/2018 - 12:50am "Spartans Will"

Am I the only one that had a problem with the alleged dual usage of "Will" in "Spartans Will?"  It can't stand as a noun in that phrase.  It would be a noun in "Spartan Will" or "Spartans’ Will," but it is unambiguously a verb in "Spartans Will."

I can't deny that it's been a successful hook for the university -- it's definitely been picked up as a rallying cry -- but I doubt anybody except the marketers is thinking of the noun sense of 'will.'

04/07/2018 - 12:38am Oh, come on...

40+ replies and nobody mentioned man-child CJ Baird with an NCAA tournament run for the ages?  Averaged 120 points / 40 rebounds / 40 blocks per 40 minutes on 100% shooting,  It's hard to do much better than that. ;)

Also -- the moment when they started playing "I Love L.A." at the Staples Center, after Michigan had finished cutting down both nets and the staff were trying to clear the arena.  Of course, that may be because I've actually listened to the lyrics.  (Hint: it's satire, Angelenos ;).  Actually, pretty much everything about the games in LA were awesome. It was loud.

04/05/2018 - 3:03pm There is, though

There is, though.  You pick your definition and then look to see how events after that point relate to events before it.

For example, you might define a team that's scored 6 consecutive points to be "hot."  So, then you look at the next possession -- how likely is the opposition to score a basket?  How likely is the team who's hot?  etc.

Bolden's ejection is a difficult one just because the sample size is smaller; most of these studies are done in baseball, since there's so much of it and it lends itself so well to analysis.  Basketball is close enough, though, as you can use possession-by-possession data to increase the sample size enough for it to be meaningful.

Here's an example article from momentum proponents:…

To summarize: "Nobody can find any evidence of this phenomenon.  However, we believe it exists, despite the fact that you can't find it, because the competitors believe that it exists."

Do streaks happen?  Absolutely.  But the role of random chance in basketball is exceptionally high -- a very good three point shooter misses more often than he makes.  People tend to ascribe to "momentum" what can better be ascribed to "luck."

You'll see the same behavior at a casino -- people will assure you that "black is hot" in roulette (simultaneously, "red is due"), that a particular shooter is "hot" or "cold" at the craps table, or that a blackjack shoe is "hot" or "cold" unless someone "played their cards wrong" to "mess them up."  Most of these are demonstrably false; the only part of that which is true is that a blackjack shoe can be hot or cold, but (a) only at a table without continuous shuffling, (b) only enough to swing your chances between ~45% and ~55%, and (c) it's the cards that remain in the shoe, not the result of the previous hand, that change the probabilities.

The only difference between the two is that more people will defend the concept of momentum in sports because the human skill involved seems to outweigh the luck factor.

04/05/2018 - 11:49am If

If momentum were a thing, you'd be able to find it in the statistics.  Basically, you'd expect a team to have a higher chance to score when "hot" and a lower chance to score when "cold."  Many people have gone looking for it.  I've yet to see a single study that's actually found it.

I think it's a theme for the thread -- listen to your son. :)

04/03/2018 - 7:33pm Or...

or its voracity, anyway.  Personally, I hunger for some good news on this front.

04/03/2018 - 5:21pm Well

I hear what you're saying.  However, the way the game was called changed at halftime (which seems to be a frequent thing, for some reason).  If Robinson had come back into the game in the first half, he would have been targeted immediately and would either have picked up another foul or chaperoned Villanova players to the basket.

I'm not a huge fan of autobench, but Robinson has been much more foul-prone this year than he was in the past.  It wasn't as bad a decision as auto-benching Stauskas (or even Burke, 2013 title game aside) used to be.

04/03/2018 - 5:09pm Hi!

Good to see you're alive.  We've all been worried.

"Way too many 3's."  Sure, 23 of them, or 42% of all field goal attempts in the game.  Slightly fewer than Michigan's season average.

"shooting 66% from two" -- yep, nearly all of those after the game had been decided and Villanova no longer really cared about stopping two-point shots.  Also, the 66% from 2 is misleading, since an awful lot of Michigan drives turned into turnovers or kick-outs when Villanova swallowed up the driving player.

"After his 3rd three we never changed up how we were playing him. Make someone else beat you and we didn't." -- Beilein talked about this (not that I'd expect you to care), and they did actually make some slight adjustments within the gameplan; Beilein said that in hindsight, he wished he'd made more, but some of his shots were basically unguardable.

The kid was making 25-foot pull up shots.  How do you guard that?  You can bring the defense out to 25 feet, but now you're spaced out so far that it's an easy drive to the basket.  So, you essentially have to double-team the guy, putting one guy in his shorts and having another guy ready to cut off the driving line.  And that just leaves somebody else open.

Michigan's overall defensive game plan was fine.  The biggest problem was the offensive rebounds they surrendered, which isn't a Villanova strength at all.  Some of them seemed to be missed block-outs; others seemed to bounce right into a Villanova player's hand.  Villanova got 4 additional defensive rebounds compared to what Michigan had been allowing on average.  Take away 8 points from their score and the game is much more competitive.

04/03/2018 - 3:59pm And...

Much has been learned about basketball in the intervening 27 years.

Crashing the offensive glass is a high risk / high reward strategy.  When you're successful, you get easy baskets.  When you're unsuccessful, you give up transition baskets.

That was bad in 1991, when nobody was going to shoot a transition 3 except in dire circumstances.

In 2018, when the transition 3 is a standard part of the game plan for many offenses, you're trading possible easy 2s for possible easy 3s.  You'd better get an awful lot of those rebounds.

04/03/2018 - 3:07pm As an aside...

I didn't think it was worthy of its own thread, but Michigan finished #2 in the final coaches' poll.  Retroactively, Michigan defeated 6 top 25 opponents in 7 games prior to Villanova -- MSU (#11), Purdue (#9), Houston (#22), Texas A&M (#24), Florida State (#18), and Loyola (#7!).

04/03/2018 - 2:44pm The former

You give him the bad shot and hope he starts to miss.  A season's worth of data is more predictive than a game's worth.  There have been countless studies on this, and they all come out the same -- hot and cold streaks happen, but there's nothing you can do to harness or to predict them.  Admittedly, most of them are in baseball, but if you accept the concept of good shots vs. bad shots in the first place, the conclusion will hold.

04/03/2018 - 1:47pm "I’m factoring their experience/age into depth"

OK, well, I'm factoring the Big House seating capacity into Michigan's average height.

Your original statement makes no sense whatsoever, and neither does your explanation.  "Depth" does not mean "multiple good players on the floor at the same time," nor does it mean "experience."

If you want to say that Villanova's performance was due to their experience, fine; per KenPom, Michigan actually has more.  Villanova does have more minutes continuity, which is probably more to your point, but they're not exceptional in that stat by any means.

04/03/2018 - 12:39pm Good point

Because 3/23 was definitely a measure of their true talent level, and not a statistical outlier.

The 2013 team went 0/12 from 3 in the win vs. MSU.  Obviously Trey wasn't the answer either.

04/03/2018 - 12:23pm You...

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Villanova gave 7 guys non-garbage-time minutes -- their five starters, DiVincenzo (who played the most of anybody, with 37 minutes), and Gillespie.  Neither Booth -- the fifth starter, who battled foul trouble -- nor Gillespie were involved in the offense at all.

Villanova is many things -- the best team in the country, and also the champions -- but deep is not one of them.

04/03/2018 - 12:12pm There

There isn't always a reason.  Michigan shots lights out against Texas A&M.  Is it really reasonable to think that they were much fresher for that one particular game?

Villanova's defense is nearly as good as Michigan's, and they didn't run any deeper than Michigan did.  They didn't seem fatigued.

I saw one or two shots that could have been explained by tired legs -- shots that were exactly on line but hit the front rim and fell short.  The rest were a combination of good Villanova defense and dumb luck.

04/03/2018 - 11:12am Well

1 - It may not be a direct quote, but I'm confident in my paraphrasing.  The source is "every game thread you were in where the opposition made a run."  And, honestly, if your argument is "I insulted the team, but not with that particular insult," you've already lost.

2 - While I agree with the other poster that Notre Dame players don't feel humiliated, I'd point out that there is a material difference between a 42-14 football loss and a 79-62 basketball loss.  The former was never competitive.  Last night's game was competitive -- a 10-0 or 12-4 run or the like would have gotten Michigan back into it.

3 - I read your comment differently than you intended, but I'll still take issue with it as restated -- it does matter to me, a lot, that Michigan competes ethically.  I would rather lose with dignity than cheat to win any day.  So, yes, it does bring some solace.  Is it a false dichotomy?  Only if you assume that OP was stating that the only way to win is to cheat, or that Villanova cheated in order to win.  I didn't read it that way.  I read it as "lots of other teams cheat and didn't get as far as being national runners-up."

4a - I hope that's true.  If you can only enjoy perfection, you're going to find yourself oft disappointed.  I'll take your word for that, though, because you seem to celebrate privately but complain publicly.

4b - OK, but...

5 - This is the crux of the problem.  Michigan's poor shooting last night had a lot to do with randomness.  They didn't shoot their average from 3.  Many of the looks were open.  Why was that?  Fatigue? Pressure? A late start time? Shooting in a dome (the same dome where Villanova shot the lights out in the first half Saturday, and then shot their season average afterwards?)
The answer to all of those is "maybe" -- except for the dome thing, which has been conclusively debunked -- but there's no evidence for any of them.  Michigan shot their season average -- more or less -- in the Big Ten championship game against Purdue.  Was that lower pressure?  It's harder to find 9 PM ET tips this year than it was last year, but none of them will be as bad as last night, because 13% was literally the worst they've shot this year.
Some of the credit should go to Villanova's defense.  Michigan took a couple of late-shot-clock threes that had little chance, and they forced up a couple of contested ones as well.  Let's credit Villanova with making 4 of those shots impossible.  That leaves 19 other shots.  If Michigan is a 37.5% true talent team at 3 point shooting -- their regular season average -- the likelihood of making 3 or fewer threes out of 19 attempts is 3.75%, or about one in 26.7.  Michigan played 41 games this season; you would anticipate them doing this once.  Heck, even if you refuse to credit Villanova at all, the chance of making 3 or fewer threes out of 23 attempts is 0.99%, or about 1 in 101, so you'd expect them to do that once every three years.  Going back, I see two worse performances dating back to 2013 -- last year's South Carolina game and the 2013 victory vs MSU (the Trey Burke steal game), where they went... 0 for 12 (!).  So -- about once every three years.

There isn't always a reason.  Sometimes things just happen.  Last night's three-point shooting was part good defense by Villanova and part dumb luck.