B1G Champs! It's been 25 years since Wolverine Fans have been able to say that in Basketball. 25 years. 1986. That was how many coaches, AD's, scandals, and players ago...I don't want to do the math. I'm just glad that we are all here to see it and celebrate!
Yes, I will be the first to admit, things looked incredibly bleak after the Purdue loss at home. But, in college hoops, that is to be expected. Just like Sparty losing to Indiana and OSU coming in and knocking off the Jolly Green Giants in their own house. It happens. Its basketball and its March!
Only thing to really comment on is the way it happened. I mean, if you're Sparty today (and you have to be hurting) you had a 15 point lead on an arch rival at home and couldn't get the job done? Amazing. I'm pretty sure I'd be feeling pretty pissed off this AM and thinking that it was not only within reach, it was in the bag! The first half was domination. But Sparty, taking a que from the Football team, couldn't close the deal. Couldn't deliver the big shot or the big stop when they needed to. Not normally things an Izzo coached team does. Usually, it's Sparty doing that to somebody else.
However, all that being said, I will add this: If there is a more dangerous team after a loss than Sparty, I don't know who it is. Izzo, the master motivator and pressure coach, will have this team ready for the B1G Tournament and then the NCAA's.
It won't matter that much that they lost the number 1 seed...*(HEE-HEEE!!!). What might matter more is losing frosh Brandon Dawson to a season ending ACL tear. But again, I wouldn't worry and I don't feel too bad for Sparty. Something tells me they're going to be just fine. That this loss, while it hurts, will become a great character building experience for a coach that's known for taking these types of situations and making some of the sweetest lemonade ever.
Wouldn't a Michigan - Sparty final in the B1G Championship game and again in the NCAA's be great?
Unfortunately, the Hockey team was not as lucky and did not do what they needed to do (Sweep Bowling Green) and have someone else do some work for them, too, similar to the Suckeyes taking care of business in East Lansing. Alas, the Wolverines didn't hold up their end of the deal, but neither did Western and Ferris State becomes the CCHA chamion and gets the CCHA Tournament #1 seed. Why is this such a big deal? Well, the CCHA as we know it will eventually come to an end and while Michigan will still play a lot of these teams year in and year out, I'll miss it. The drive over games and the regional feel of it all.
Still, 2nd in the CCHA when not that much was expected should be something you can hang your hat on. And there's still the NCAA's out there waiting!
It's been awhile, and I can't remember saying it often in March, but
"It's Great to Be A Michigan Wolverine!"