It started with Senior night. Well, no, actually it started with a really early arriving crowd for half priced concessions until 12:30pm for what was called "fan appreciation day." Which is utter bullshit. They don't deserve it. This is easily the worst of the ranked basketball fanbases, and that's probably being nice. You probably could expand it out to Kenpom's Top-50 and you wouldn't be able to find a team as disrespected with empty lower level seats and an unfilled student section. Blame the weather, blame the game times, the less than ideal home schedule, or maybe even blame the B1G for being a healthy steamer of a conference...none of it is an excuse for the way things have been this year. Basketball is doing exactly what you'd like football to do: Contend for the conference title and beat our rivals. And so many can't bother to make it to Crisler to use their already-paid-for season tickets.
Each Senior spoke to the crowd before and after the game, and each paid homage to the Crisler crowd, but it was certainly only lip-service. These guys have been to West Lafayette, they've been to the Nasser Center, they know what a supportive crowd looks and feels like. Hell, Nebrasketball's arena looked like Cameron Indoor if you compare it to Crisler. Anyway, fix it next year. Check scans, take away season tix, or move people out of the good seats. And if Mo Wagner has to dislocate a shoulder waiving his arms for you to get off your ass and cheer, then you should probably find something else to do. The Wolverines were 15-1 at home this year, and the 1 loss was arguably their best game. So you missed 16 good games you dummy.
Michigan beat #8 (and falling fast) Ohio State, avenging the Columbus collapse, and putting on a good show for a large number of home viewers on CBS, some of which will certainly be deciding seeding, so that's good. Despite OSUs seemingly never ending string of offensive rebounds, the Wolverines were able to hold off the Buckeyes with great defense, by making their free throws (!) and hitting a couple of timely threes. OSU inexplicably chose not to foul towards the end of the game, and allowed Michigan to pull away further with a couple of completely missed assignments underneath, finally ending the game with a 74-62 victory.
The win felt good. Which is rare as a Michigan fan these days. Was trying to think of the last time I felt good while in attendance at an athletic event. Been a while. Probably the kickoff classic, but that was smoke and mirrors since Florida sucked so bad their head coach is now our receivers coach. Might have to go back to that 29-point drubbing of Sparty a year ago. Rare. It's easier to be a Spartan fan man. They're just happy when a week goes by and nobody gets arrested. Just kidding. They're happy either way.
- Letting Hatch come out with the senior players and having him announced as a starter was first class. Beilein is the freakin best.
- The crowd rattled the shit out of transfer turncoat Andrew Dakich, who played 22 minutes with a o-fer on his stat line.
- Two big road tests remain, one of which is at Sandusky U, who is playing decent basketball of late. The other is at Maryland, who gave us all we could handle at home.
- Somebody is going to need to get hot for this March run. This team still lacks a go to guy.
- Charles Matthews needs to get un-cold. I've lost all confidence in him driving with the basketball. Dude had 4 of the 7 UM turnovers.