Friday, February 27, 2009

Dancing in the Aisle


Last night after Michigan’s final home game, the usher that always sits at the end of my row in the media area shook my hand and told me, “Well, its been a great season. Hopefully, I’ll see you next year.” He then turned to the rest of our broadcast crew and did the same to each member. No one had the heart to tell this elderly gentleman, “Apparently, you haven’t worked here many years. Don’t miss us too much because we’ll probably see you in two weeks for the NIT.”


This was the sentiment we all briefly thought about. Michigan just won its biggest home game since the Duke win in Decemeber. DeShawn Sims played his best in the biggest game of the season (again) and Manny Harris showed what kind of player he intends on being (obviously, Manny Fresh reads the blog). But was it enough to get Michigan back on track for the Big Dance? Michigan has been here before (i.e. 2004) where the bottom falls out on the season with the NCAA Tournament only a few wins away. Here are just a few of the questions that were raised last night as I headed for the arena exit:


Are we in?


Are we still on the bubble?


Is Wisconsin a “Must-Win?”


Does Joe Lundari take checks or cash?


Apparently, Lunardi saw something he liked from the Wolverines last night…either from the play of the Wolverines or anonymous cash donation. Lunardi now has the Wolverines as an 11 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament. They would play LSU 1st round, and presumably Duke in the 2nd Round in Greensboro, N.C. (Uh-oh). That puts PSU and Michigan as the 6th and 7th teams from the Big Ten that are potentially in the tourney. The ACC gets 8 teams in, with the Big Ten and Big East tied with 7.


As a fan of the Maize and Blue, this is great news. I haven’t seen Michigan in a NCAA tournament since I was in grade school and was wielding a Jurassic Park: Lost World lunch box (old-school thermos with picture of Velociraptor included) . However, take Michigan’s tourney news with a grain of salt.


Three of the four teams behind Michigan right now (according to Lunardi) are Minnesota, Providence, and Maryland. Maryland already beat the Wolverines this season and will get a chance to beat a top 25 team in the early rounds of the ACC Tournament. Providence is coming off a win over Pittsburgh, which is arguably the best team in the country. An early round upset in the Big East tourney would almost certainly put them in the field of 65. As for Minnesota, Michigan will play them at The Barn for their season finale. A loss here (and at Wisconsin), and Michigan would kill their tournament hopes. Each of these scenarios could bounce U of M from the bracket.


The real thing Wolverine fans should take away from this is that there is still too much basketball to be played to know anything for sure. Me, Stu, and a few friends debated this for about a half hour in traffic and for another hour at the bar while celebrating the win. After arguing over who was “in” or “out” (and also attempting to wager beers on who could guess the name of Michigan Basketball’s strength and conditioning coach… Mike Curtis), one conclusion was finally reached: We have no #*$*&%^ clue. There are too many variables left in play. We all thought Michigan still had to win two more games to even get back on solid ground with the tournament committee. But even that turned out to be slightly off.


Michigan is back in the tourney hunt that will come down to the very last game. I just hope yesterday was the last time I see our friend, the old Crisler usher, until next year.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

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[url=http://www.rivalspot.com]Rivalspot.com - Xbox Live Tournaments[/url]
They say you can play online NHL game tournaments on any console for cash... had anyone tried that before? Looks like a cool idea...
Are there any other sites where you can play sports games for real moneys? I Googled and found only Bringit.com and Worldgaming.com but it looks these guys don't specialize in sport gamez. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

A little off topic, Guys... I have a question. Last weekend I looked at this site:
[url=http://www.rivalspot.com]Rivalspot.com - Xbox tournaments for money[/url]
They say you can play online sports game tournaments on any console for cash... had anyone tried that before? Looks like a cool idea...
Are there any other sites where you can play sports games for real moneys? I Googled and found only Bringit.com and Worldgaming.com but it looks these guys don't specialize in sport gamez. Any suggestions?

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