Sunday, March 11, 2007

Thoughts on the Tournament Selection

1. How the hell did the committee end up putting UNC, Georgetown, AND Texas together? I think this is easily the most stacked bracket. I don't think there's another bracket where I could reasonably foresee 3 teams winning the entire tournament.

2. The Pac-10, ACC, and Big Ten got ENTIRELY too much respect. How the fucking hell did Stanford, with 18 fucking wins in an average at best conference make it? That's absurd. THEY LOST BY MORE THAN 30 POINTS TO AIR FORCE AT HOME!!!!! Duke also in no way deserves a 6 seed, especially when everyone not named North Carolina looked like absolute garbage in that ACC tournament. Finally, the Big Ten gets six, which is just ridiculous. I don't think you could've watched the Big Ten this year and thought that any team outside of Wisconsin or Ohio State was really all that deserving to begin with, but FOUR?!

3. The Big Twelve and Big East got shafted. Syracuse not making the tournament is an absolute joke. Maybe everyone on the committee just forgot that Syracuse existed and didn't bring them up in discussions. Syracuse, with 20 wins, including giving Georgetown their only loss over the past 17 games, absolutely deserves to go over an 18-win Stanford squad. I also don't see how a team like Oklahoma State, who has wins over 3, and 4 seeds isn't more deserving. I think the problem is the committee focuses too much on in-conference record, which penalizes teams in good conferences and rewards teams in worse conferences.

4. Seth Davis is a complete moron. I will never forget to mention this. Seth Davis claimed that it was "bad for college basketball" for only 6 mid-majors to get at-large bids. Hey Seth, maybe if these awesome mid-major schools like Butler, Xavier, and Nevada WON THEIR FUCKING CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT these at-large bids would've opened for others. Meanwhile Old Dominion is in the tournament and Syracuse isn't. Go fuck yourself.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Michigan - Ohio State: Running Diary

12:03 - Steve Lavin opens things up by questioning whether these new (horribly ugly) Nike uniforms will affect Ohio State's shooting range

12:04 - Michigan obviously gets off to a roaring start with a turnover with 3 seconds left on the shot clock on their first possession

12:05 - Alright, I'll admit it (I'm looking at you here, Kuiken): Jerret Smith is a much better player than he was last year. I still contend Tommy Amaker hasn't developed a player once during his tenure.

12:07 - With 17 minutes left in the 1st half, Michigan gets its first of what I'm sure will be many shot clock violations.

12:08 - Steven Lavin on Michael Conley, "He can elevate like Batman. Trix are for kids. He's got a bag of tricks." Once again, still can't see why UCLA ever got rid of this guy.

12:12 - Michigan is down five already with 15 minutes left in the half. Ohio State's getting open looks from 3, Michigan still can't seem to figure out how to get an open look anywhere. Courtney Sims still hasn't figured out what it means to take it strong to the basket even when he's directly below the hoop. Sigh.

12:17 - Lester Abram just made a great pass to Petway for a SICK dunk. Just in case you've forgotten, Brent Petway has the Wolverine helmet cut into his hair. It's really a shame that he's a complete idiot, because his retarded personality, flair for the big play, and athleticism would be perfect for the NBA. He also has 6 rebounds already that came entirely from hustle/his ability to jump 49 inches into the air.

12:23 - Michigan down 5 still, 10:51 left in the game, and we have our first appearance from Reed Baker aka The Prophet, aka the natural.

12:24 - THE PROPHET! Right on cue drains a 3 on his first possession to bring Michigan within 2!

12:25 - The entire Holy Trinity is in the game. The Messiah - Ekpe Udoh, The Prophet - Reed Baker, and The Apostle - Deshawn Sims. This is a good sign. Also Steve Lavin just claimed the United Center has some of the best hot dogs in the Midwest. Somehow I doubt that.

12:28 - Michigan has 7 turnovers just 11 minutes into this game. The last one occurring on an in-bounds pass from under OSU's basket that went all the way to the other 3 point line, and was picked up while Deshawn Sims was standing out of bounds. Nice work, guys.

12:29 - Deshawn Sims gets a nice putback and one, drawing the foul from Oden. I agree with Anthony that Sims should be getting significantly more playing time. He might not be polished, but he at least knows what to do under the basket for chrissakes. I can't say as much for Courtney Sims or Brent Petway.

12:32 - ESPN just notified me that Michigan's win over Davidson is a key win. God dammit. Also, Michigan is down 5 with 7:40 left and neither Courtney Sims or Dion Harris has scored a point.

12:35 - Lester just drilled a 3 to put Michigan within 4. He's been playing really well today which is a good sign, but 7 turnovers and letting Ohio State shoot 53% from the field is not good.

12:39 - Dion just hit a three, he's finally made a fucking shot and Michigan's within 1 with 3 minutes left to play in the half. Michigan needs to not collapse at the end of the half like Tommy seems to enjoy doing just to toy with me.

12:41 - Michigan is playing well. Of course, they lost all momentum going into the half when Deshawn Sims missed the front end of a one and one with 17 seconds left, followed by Conley drilling a runner with 1 second left. Michigan is down 5 going into the half, which is kind of disappointing considering they're outrebounding OSU by 14 and still losing.

Some quick thoughts on OSU: Greg Oden isn't dominant. At all. He goes missing for most of the game, and frankly, Ohio State would be hurt much more in a game like this if they lost a guy like Lewis or Conley than if they lost Oden. I think Oden's a solid player, but he's not amazing just yet. You also have to hold him accountable for the fact that Michigan is outrebounding OSU by 14. Not that impressive. That being said, he's still a ridiculous prospect, and could become dominant soon. Just not yet.

Some quick thoughts on the rest of college basketball: The ACC sucks. I'm sick of the ESPN spin control on that fucking conference. They suck this year. Just admit it. UNC is good, and that's it. If ESPN weren't so in bed with the ACC they'd be talking about how Duke should probably be a bubble team right now. Losing to NC State?! They're god damn 8-9 against the RPI Top 50. That's not impressive. At all. Maryland loses to fucking Miami?! Give me a break. This is a one team conference, and about 4-5 teams that MAYBE belong in the top 25. I'd take the Big East, Big Twelve, and the Big Ten over the ACC this year, hands down. Keep in mind, this isn't some kind of anger based on a firm belief Michigan should make the tournament. Frankly, we suck. I'm just merely pointing out the ACC sucks and I'd be surprised if any team other than UNC was around after the first weekend.

1:02 - God, I hope Talib Kweli got paid a lot of money for his rapping for the Big Ten commercials, because that is easily the worst rapping from him I've ever heard.

1:05 - Jerret Smith gets a nice hustle rebound and hits Courtney under the basket for a dunk. This of course followed by Courtney getting great position but being a HUGE PUSSY and getting blocked by Oden twice. Followed by Conley getting a bucket, putting OSU up 7, and Lavin has decided to stick with his "Trix are for kids" line for Conley. I think this game is over.

1:07 - Oh good, Courtney just missed a free throw. You fucking asshole. As Erin Andrews informs us that the Michigan coaching staff wants Courtney to get more involved in this second half. Yeah, thanks guys. That plan seems to be working magically so far.

1:09 - Dion airs a 3. Now we're down 10 with 16 minutes left. The dream is dead.

1:15 - Zzzzzzz. Oh shit, OSU just hit a 3. Way to defend the perimeter guys. WHY THE HELL ARE WE PLAYING A 2-3 ZONE AGAINST THESE GUYS, TOMMY?! OSU - 45, Michigan - 33, 14:30 left.

1:16 - Lester hits a 3 to bring us back within 9 as Steve Lavin tells us that Dion is shooting 1-10 from the field. Amazing. I really will just be befuddled if Tommy Amaker is still coaching Michigan after this year. It's going to happen, but I still don't get how you can justify it in any way at this point.

1:19 - Another 3 this time for Jerret Smith, who's playing awesome. Lester, Jerret, and Petway are the only players on Michigan who shouldn't be ritualistically beaten after this game. Down 6.

1:21 - COURTNEY. YOU FUCKING PUSSY! SLAM THE BALL DOWN YOU 6'11" GIANT DILDO! Now he's complaining that his throat hurts. What a douchebag. Grow a sack. Nice 4 points.

1:23 - Just checked in on the UNC game to see that Florida State has completely fallen apart. There's a shocker. Fuck off, ACC.

1:25 - Michigan completely loses control and allows a second-chance follow-up basket followed by a fast break lay-in. Tommy calls timeout down 9 with 11 minutes left. He's an Uncle Tom. The sight of him at this point blatently repulses me.

1:28 - I will kill Steve Lavin if I have to hear another sentence like, "Long arms like branches. Branches on a tree." Yeah, that's usually where you find branches Steve, thanks.

1:32 - Technical foul on Thad Matta lets Dion get Michigan within 4 with 9 minutes and with possession. Maybe I gave up on Michigan too early. Probably not.

1:33 - Right on cue Lester misses the front end of a one and one. How many of these are we going to miss against Ohio State in key situations in a week? 32? 912?

1:34 - The refs are giving EVERY call to Oden now. I don't understand how you call a blocking foul on a defender for standing up straight and getting backed down, because that just happened on 3 straight possessions.

1:35 - LESTER HITS A THREE. MICHIGAN DOWN 3 WITH 7:47 LEFT! COME ON!

1:41 - Alright, so Oden is playing much better in this 2nd half. That being said, he's been the beneficiary of some chippy foul calls in this half, and I still think he's got to be blamed for the ridiculous rebounding margin favoring Michigan. I'm still not super impressed.

1:43 - Conley, who I still think is more important than Oden drains a 3, putting Ohio state up 11 with just over 5 minutes to play. There is NO WAY Michigan is coming back from this.

1:45 - Dion turns it over by getting a 5 second call. *** Sobbing into keyboard ***

1:53 - Petway facials Oden. Oden blatantly hits Petway in the face on the dunk. No call. Fuck you, Oden. Down 8 with 2:22 to go. Whatever.

1:55 - Stat of the night: Tommy Amaker - 10 seasons as head coach, 1 NCAA tournament appearance. ZERO WITH MICHIGAN. If Bill Martin doesn't fire Tommy he's just acknowledging that he only cares about the football program. Which I'm fine with. Just as long as he can admit that for me, though.

1:57 - NIT Fever: Catch it.