Monday, March 19, 2012

The Pain...But Life Will Get Better!

I'm not sure who (realistically) saw Michigan losing to the Bobcats of Ohio.  Granted, the Bobcats won the MAC and the MAC winner is always tough...Looking back, I've made quiet money in the NCAA with Central, Kent State, and others over the years.  I just didn't think this team had what it took to get by the Wolverines.

I was wrong. 

It'll be sad to see this group of seniors go.  I can't count how many times either Zack or Stewey managed to hit a 3-pointer when the team needed it most.  There was thrilling victories and crushing defeats.  And in a way, the last defeat for these guys was almost symbolic.  Play to the level of your competition, suffer the consequences. 

Of course, one or two late shots could have changed everything and were talking about a Sweet 16 berth today instead of encapsulating an otherwise successful season. 

The tournament started out, frankly, boring, for lack of a better term, on Thursday.  Friday rolled around and not much had changed.  Not until the evening when not one, but two 15 seeds got it in their head that they could knock off their respective 2 seeds.  Granted, Lehigh beating Duke wasn't nearly as impressive as the Norfolk State dismantling of Mizzou.  I think everyone was pretty suspiscious of the Duke 2 rank and had them going out in the 2nd round to Xavier after the X-Men beat the Domers (you're MMQ included in that fine analysis).  But if you had Mizzou going out in the 2nd or even 3rd round, you were in somewhat of a minority.  And while it was an exciting Friday, it lacked that buzzer beater upset feeling that past tournaments have had.  Not that I don't like it, mind you.  It just didn't have the "Oh Boy!  Here we go!" heart-stopping moment.

Anyway, for future reference, if anyone is looking for ways to make "REAL" money during the NCAA tournament and you happen to find yourself in Vegas with nothing else to do and a couple of extra C-notes in your pocket, the following is one way you could have invested it (From the USAToday):

Sometimes you have to buck the odds to make bucks in this town.
R.J. Bell of reports that betting on Norfolk State and Lehigh in round 1 would have been good for a couple of mortgage payments.
A $100 bet (Cash line - MMQ) on Norfolk State to upset Missouri would have paid $4,000. Norfolk State was a 21 1/2 point underdog.
A $100 bet on Lehigh (+11 1/2) to beat Duke would have returned $650.
A parlay on Norfolk State and Lehigh? $30,650.

That would have been NIIIIIICE!!!!!!


For those of you that might be traveling south for the Easter holiday I have some news that Superfan alerted me to.  I will be in Tampa, Florida arriving on April 5th at around noon and guess what else is in Tampa, Florida, April 5th through the 7th?

The Men's Ice Hockey Frozen 4!

Michigan is the #1 seed in the Green Bay Region and it looks like the team will have a reasonable shot at making the Frozen 4.  Michigan is making its 22nd straight appearance in the Frozen 4, which is a hell of a tribute to the program and what Red Berenson can do with a hockey team.

5 CCHA teams have made the Round of 16 which is a testament to the strength of that conference.  Again, I've said it before, but I truly have mixed emotions about leaving the CCHA and forming the Big 10 Hockey Conference.  I know it's about money....But I will miss it.

If you can't link or don't feel like it:  Michigan plays Cornell on March 23rd and Ferris plays Denver that rounds out the field.  They're in and there's a chance.  

Nothing would give me greater pleasure than heading to the Tampa Bay Times Forum and checking out the Maize and Blue at either 4:30 or 8:00 PM!   Of course....I have to sell the Trip Coordinator on the idea..But that shouldn't be incredibly difficult!


Monday, March 5, 2012

B1G Basketball Champs! Hockey...Oh So Close....

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.

Not yesterday.

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?

Just thinkin'.....


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!"

Friday, March 2, 2012

Still Alive - But, and I KNOW How Much This Pains EVERYONE...go suckeyes!

Okay.  Deep breath.  After the turd that represented the final home game against Purdue for the Maize and Blue was flushed from Crysler Arena, I'm feeling better about the fact that Michigan isn't out of a possible share of the Big 10 Title.  This is the first time they've even sniffed one since 1984.  1984.  they went BACK TO BACK IN 1985  - 1986!!  (Thank you for the correction SUPERFAN! - you are the official go to B-Ball guy on the distribution.  I try to do most of the Football stuff from memory and I believe there just isn't enough room in the old keppe for B-Ball).  I thought that Fisher had come close with the Tractor Trailer team, but it turns out the only thing they had accomplished was winning the B1G Tournament in 1998, still no small task.  (Of course, according to the NCAA, that inaguaral Championship has now never happened, but it happened for the fans).

The first thing that needs to happen is that Michigan needs to take care of business at PSU at 1:00 PM on Saturday.  SUNDAY!!!!!!  (I accidentally looked at February calendar once I knew the date...Sheesh). That shouldn't be a huge hurdle for the cagers as they have finally figured out how to win on the road. 

The second thing that needs to happen:  Unfortunately, winning a B1G share means we all have to join together and do something that repulses me more than anything else that readily comes to mind:

We have to....jeez....I'm not even sure I can type this...We have to pull for the suckeyes to beat Sparty. 

You should just be able to change the channel and it'll be right there.  At 4:00 PM...

There...It's out there.  I've done my part.  The rest of you know what you need to do.  Superfan, you better up the bet on PSU.  Everyone else, rub your rabbit's feet, stroke your good luck charm and then wash your mouth out with turpentine after yelling, "Go Suckeyes!"

And fer God's sake..Don't let your kids hear you say it!