Tournaments, Recruiting, Spring Practice and Screwing up a Stoning
Michigan to Play Old Dominion In NIT Semi-Finals
The Michigan Basketball team is on its way to New York for the NIT semi-finals at Madison Square Garden. All of New York is abuzz. Well. Not really. But those of us following Michigan's last three games are excited. While it's not what we'd hoped for when Michigan sat 16-3 and #20 in the nation, it's still something. They're still playing.
Michigan will face Old Dominion (24-9). The Monarchs (I believe is what they are called) beat Hostra at Hostra to advance. Old Dominion's player to watch is Isaiah Hunter, who scored 29 points in the Monarch's win. Tip off is at 7pm on Tuesday, which hopefully will be broadcast somewhere other than ESPNU.
On the other side of the bracket, Louisville and South Carolina will meet to determine the NIT's other Final team. South Carolina continued its hot streak topping a solid Cincinnati team last night. Louisville spanked Missouri State in the other quarterfinal matchup to advance. They will also play on Tuesday, March 28.
My Michigan v. South Carolina Final remains intact.
In real tournament news Michigan drops the puck tonight with North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND in the NCAA Men's Hockey Championships. Michigan was seed #3 in this region with #1 Minnesota, #2 North Dakota, and #4 Holy Cross. Basically, even if you beat a REALLY talented Sioux team (at home!) you run into the Minnesota buzzsaw the next game. As Yost Built and MGoBlog have pointed out, Michigan does not have much of a chance to come out of this bracket. But stranger things have happened.
In 1998, a young, inexperienced Michigan team beat North Dakota (backstopped by NCAA all time wins leader Marty Turco) during their improbable tournament run. Minus Marty, things can be perceived as similar, if you're willing to stretch your imagination. So who knows. Even good teams have off nights, and if Michigan plays like it did early in the year they've got a great chance to come out alive. However, if they play like they have in closing the season they'll be lucky to beat UND. My brain refuses to allow me to think they've got a chance. But my heart says they could pull it off. We'll see. Puck drops at 8:30 CST. No national TV coverage that I'm aware of, so beg your local sports bar to flip around. That's what I'll be doing.
USCHO has a great breakdown of the region and the tournament on their mainpage. Enjoy.
In Recruiting News
Michigan's top basketball target, Patrick Beverly, was named to the Chicago Tribune's All-State first team. They did a piece on the team, Michigan is mentioned along with every other school he's gotten an offer from. On the plus side, it also mentions a relentless work ethic, something that Michigan could probably use a lot more of.
Football Spring Practice Kicks Off
The Michigan Football season unofficially began on Sunday, March 19, with the opening of spring practice. The Ann Arbor news has you covered. Lloyd was at his normal monotone self as well. One of the things he discussed was Kevin Grady's weight issues. "One of the things I thought hurt Kevin Grady a little bit was that he came out of high school ... I can remember at one point when I saw him, he was 240 pounds." Are you kidding me? Look at the size of this monster (at right). Looks like he signed onto the Mark McGuire "Huge In A Week" program. Got tickets?
Duke Chokes Again
All around the nation dreams of taunting your officemates went up in smoke as Duke coughed up its match up with LSU, 62-54. Neither team could hit a barn with a shovel. Duke shot 27% and LSU shot 39%. This marks Duke's third exit in four years when they've reached the Sweet Sixteen. While part of me giggles with glee at the "Haves" of the basketball world falling on their faces, another part of me laughs even harder because its Duke. (at right: The Universal Sign for Choking. Also the Universal Sign for Duke Basketball.)
Underdog Put Down
Everyone's favorite underdog was finally put to sleep, Old Yeller style, by the Memphis Tigers. Memphis beat Bradley 80-64. Despite the fact Bradley was down only 5 at the half, Memphis blew out the Braves in the second half. A quick second half start, combined with stifling defense put Bradley away for good. After the break, Memphis lead by 10 or more from the 15 minute mark on. At least part of your bracket is intact.
Adam Morrison Is Now A Punchline
Gimmie a break. What a freakin' weirdo. Smashing the basketball into your head. Crying on the floor, with 10 seconds left in the game, and you're still IN IT! I'm glad they lost. Not because I harbor ill will toward Morrison or Gonzaga. I'm just tired of the Larry Bird comparisons. This guy is not that good. UCLA came back from 14 down in the second half to beat Gonzaga and advance to the elite 8.
Where will he go in the draft? Lets see... lanky white boy, bad facial hair, overrated outside shot.... Remind you of anyone?
In Battle of Rednecks, Texas Prevails
My tourney bracket has new life. Texas beat WVU. By the way, when did West Virginia become a power, at anything? It's like Virginia Tech. I blinked and all of a sudden they're winning stuff instead of being a doormat.
In Other News
Lawyers Ruin Christmas: He said Jehovah! How the public stoning of Chris Cowherd turned into a discussion of copyright law is a mystery to me. Well. I know how it happened. Sometimes those of us in the legal field gotta learn to let the stoning take place without adding our two cents. Sorry bout that Brian.
Update: Cowherd Appologizes... To Vince Young. Aparently he only says "sorry" to people he wishes to pee on a little more. Cowherd's site issued a mock apology to Vince Young for stating that Vince got a 15 on the Wunderlich, when in fact Vince got a 16. Could this guy be any more of a jackass? Take a peak below at this comments from his ESPN site:
• Circumstantial Evidence- Vince Young was impressive at his personal workout yesterday. Big deal, says Colin. He controlled all the circumstances. And Colin apologizes for inaccurate reporting -- Young actually got a 15 on his Wonderlic test, not 16.