Okay – I want to thank everyone who texted (and later e-mailed) to inform me that Michigan looked like dog-doo and was showing “no effort” in the 1st half of the ohio game. Yes, thanks for that….It was nearly impossible for me to see that for myself as my eyes watered with rage when the suckeyes more or less just continued their pre-game warm up drills (lay-ups) through Michigan’s D….I had to switch to the Olympics once in order to protect my basement TV from the remote in my hand. I exaggerate…but only a little. There was an object thrown. But I managed to avoid the TV.And then, something happened. Either the world shifted on its axis or Michigan actually found a way to not only score, but stop the suckeyes and
Anyway, I think we all panic a little, myself included, when things like this happen. I’m not saying there’s not evidence that we SHOULDN’T Panic (Iowa and now Wiscy) but I do believe in the laws of regression and I looked again at ohio’s offensive numbers and realized that if we just kept playing our game….Things should eventually work out.
And work out, they did! Walton, Irvin and even Stauskas (a quiet 15 on the night) had superb games! The 2nd half was highlighted by a 12-0 Michigan run that had the BEST DEFENSIVE TEAM in the league looking around at each other wondering what to do.Wiscy: What can I say? It was going to be a big game no matter who won or lost. I have to admit that I did not see the game as I somehow got the start time in my little noggin screwed up, but I did see the finish. What looked like a close game late turns out was nothing but. I heard from foes and fans alike (Where I caught the end of the game was full of rejoicing Spartys - more on that in a minute) that more or less all agreed that Michigan sucked in the first half. And it appeared to be an effort thing.
I don’t know what “Clicks” with Michigan and what they do to turn it on, but when it’s on, they are capable of beating anyone in the country. And I do mean ANYONE. Bring it Syracuse. Wichita State – Final Four Fraud from last year. Arizona is more or less done without Ashley….Florida? PUHLEASE!!!!!
So the question becomes: What team can Michigan put on the floor for 6 games in the tournament? Or is it going to continue to be a "Up this game, Down this Game" routine with the Maize and Blue?
REST OF THE B1G
Sparty: As I was saying, Sparty looked truly dominating in their win over the Kitty’s…but about that Nebraska Cornhusker Team coached by Tom Miles…I have a Sparty buddy that I can actually have civil conversations with and he was a huge believer in Northwestern as the “Most Under-Rated Team In the B1G” and he was holding up the Kats victory up in the Troll center as his evidence. I was leaning more towards Nebraska and this “kid-coach” that had great success at Colorado State. When Nebraska hired Tim Miles, I thought they’de made a good move. Bad for Michigan and the rest of the B1G, but a good move.And Sparty got to see just how good of a move it was on their Home Court on Sunday. I started watching the game with bunch of elated Spartys and depressed Michigan fans and by the end of the game, the Spartys were “MASSIVELY DEFLATED” and the Michigan Fans were doing a little dance!
In short, a horrible loss for Sparty that has more or less destroyed any chance for a 1 seed with that loss. I’m not even sure a win in Ann Arbor gets that back.So what gives? Who wants to win the B1G? (Rhetorical Question. Don’t answer that.)
We have learned this about Sparty: When they play poorly, everyone is hurt, either physically or emotionally. When they win, everyone is toughing it out and playing over their pain. Sheesh…After questioning Apple(ings) toughness, Izzo came out last Monday with this whine, er, rant:
"That's what I keep telling my guys. We can control what they tweet, to a certain extent. They're going to get frustrated sometimes and probably say something stupid. But it's what they read. If somebody's writing stuff about your daughter when she's in highschool, I'll bet you look at it a little differently. I've had grown men (myplayers) in my office in tears because of what's being written. That's what brings the frustration level.”Awww……Poor Babies! Come to Izzo and daddy will make it all better! Bubuyathpppt… (Baby noises….) So, Sparty doesn’t like it when people talk about them on Twitter….Perhaps if Sparty and their fans were not so active in the “Talking” business, things wouldn’t be said about them? Hmmmm?
What a jackass. Actually – let me re-phrase: What a bunch of Jackasses… The things Izzo and the collective known as Sparty have said about Michigan and Michigan players and then to come out and say that people are making “bad remarks” about his players. Really? Don’t throw mud, idiots. Get over it. Or better yet, get off Twitter.
But wouldn’t this be a great coaching opportunity and a REALLY great team unity opportunity that could be used for a bonding moment? Instead, Izzo comes out and only makes it worse by saying his guys are “crying” about stuff that’s written about them…I can’t wait till February 23rd!
Wiscy: Doing what they need to do to secure at least a top 5 seed. My guess is they are still an early out, which again could mean a trip to the elite 8 knowing Ryan…OSU: Is there anything better and redder on the tube than Thad Matta’s face when he’s yelling and pissed off about something? That guy is really coaching at the right place due to the fact that his face goes so well with the team’s colors….Kind of the same way if Brian Kelly was the head football coach at Northwestern.
Iowa: If they can win out, I see a high seed in their future as well….Minnesota: Could have really helped their tournament cause with a win at the Troll center, but couldn’t even get close in the upset….
NEBRAKSA: I’m adding them to the “List” as a potential team to surprise some people and get in the tournament. And this is a team you DON’T want to play as a middle seed…Indiana: Now, after a crippling loss against the Gophers and what can only be described as a pathetic last minute loss to Penn State (after being up 10 with 3 minutes to go!), I’m taking Indiana officially out of the tournament. They’re done. Stick a fork in them. And what’s funny is, they have talent…but there’s no way unless they win the B1G Tournament…And then it will probably be curtains for the Gophers as Indiana would “Steal” a B1G spot….
NCAA Tournament Locks: Michigan, Sparty, Wiscy, ohio, IowaLocked up, but Trying desperately to Break into the NIT or at least get on the bubble: Minnesota
Last B1G Teams In – NEBRASKAWishing they had one or two more victories right now or hoping for a final 5 game run or B1G Tournament Victory: PSU, NWU, IU
Roaming around waiting for any other sport to start: Illinois and PurdueThe B1G is probably only going to get 6 in the NCAA tourney this year. Too much parity in the middle of the pack and too many bottom feeders upsetting the middle guys…But if Nebraska can win 4 of last 5…look out. Could be 7.
BracketologyGetting down to the proverbial “Nitty Gritty” and the chips are getting stacked in front of the big boys and the other little guys are scrambling for spots.
Right now, the 4 number 1 seeds will be:
- Florida (My new “first 1 seed to lose in the tournament” team)
- Syracuse (This team could win the whole enchilada…they are better than last year.)
- Wichita State (Haven’t lost since last year’s Final Four)
- Arizona – Another 1 seed that might not make it out of the first weekend to the Sweet 16….
The 2-4 seeds, in particular order because it DOES matter as we get closer:
2 Seeds: Creighton, sparty, Kansas, Dook3 Seeds: Kentucky, Michigan, San Diego State, TEXAS
4 Seeds: Cincinnati, Villanova, Louisville, VirginiaTeam most likely to move up to a 1 when either Florida or Arizona loses again: Dook. Whoever wins the B1G is going to be in the next best spot to grab a Number 1 seed. I think Kansas has people thinking they aren’t that good and KENPOM knocked them down out of the top 8….The Duke argument is tough because there is already a Big East team as a 1 Seed and the schedule is not doing them any favors…OHHHH, I’m sorry…Did I say Big East? I meant ACC! And Dook got “Paxed”, so to speak with the big storm that moved through and postponed the UNC showdown to February 20th. Dook will play three games in 5 days - Tuesday – Thursday - Saturday. Georgia Tech – UNC and Syracuse….I don’t see that being a 3 for 3 type of victory plan…in fact, 1 and 2 is entirely possible.
Again, read Lunardi or the SBNation Bracket Tracker if you’re interested about the last teams in…I’m focusing on who has a real shot at winning the NCAA by sticking with the top 12 teams….
The State of the Game
Is charging becoming a lost call in the college game? In fact, is college officiating at its lowest point (meaning: Really, really, really, REALLY Shitty) that it’s ever been? I tried to do some research to see if there were any blogs or anyone out there that tracked such things, but I couldn’t find anything. Pat Forde over at Yahoo made mentioned this in his Forde Minutes column, and I agree with him then that the college officiating this year, well, sucks.
The charge is the most mysterious call in basketball right now. Half the time it is called, I think it should have been a block, and the other half, I think they call the block when, to this somewhat unbiased observer, it looks clearly like a charge. Not to mention the number of no whistle “Travels” I’m seeing this year along with the innocuous “reach in” foul. Look, this isn’t the NBA and I don’t want to make College Hoops into the NBA so the referees need to stop calling it like the NBA. Period.
I don’t know how to fix it and I wish there was a better governing body and perhaps a broader re-play list of what is reviewable. But, as was pointed out to me, the game is at times, slow enough as it is. In fact, I can’t remember how many times games have gone over the 2 hour mark this year, but it’s been quite often. I do think some of that is due to MULTIPLE COMMERCIALS and extended commercial breaks. I only hope we don’t start seeing games slotted for 2 hours and 15 minutes or something…Basketball is pure just the way it is. Keep the games at 2 hours total.GAMES TO WATCH
SUPER TUESDAYTexas @ Iowa State
Iowa @ IndianaKentucky @ Ole Miss
Northwestern @ suckeyes
Witchy State @ Loyola (Chicago)
Arizona @ Utah (Best Upset pick of the Week!)
Sparty @ Purdon’t
Dook @ North Carolina
Catch a High School Game!
Louisville @ Cincinnati
Wiscy @ Iowa
Gophers @ suckeyeland
WWIII REMATCH: Syracuse @ Dook: Can the Devils get payback?
Texas @ Kansas – Big12 Implications! Bigger problems for Kansas and a number 1 seed if they lose
Sparty @ Michigan (NOON!!!!!)