Time Off Before the Buzzsaw

Michigan Basketball has lost five of their last six.  Three weeks ago, we sat at 13-3...today we are 14-8.  It wouldn't be so troubling if we had been competitive in any of the losses, but for the most part we have not been.  Each of the games had periods of shooting that caused even casual observers to cringe.  I can here the echo in my head of the announcers..."Michigan is 0 for 11 from 3-point range"...."Michigan is 2 for 15 from three point range"...."Michigan is shooting only 27% from the floor so far tonight."  We once "lived by it" and we are certainly "dying by it."  The margins of loss in the second half of January..14, 7, 15, 18, and 18.  Again, I live in a world where rational thought is clouded by visions of Rumeal Robinson, so I feel I must mention that there is a whole lot of season ahead of us.

Michigan gets a bit of a break this week, which Coach Beilein has said they have been looking for in order to practice their shooting.  I like the sound of that.  The problem is that when you are in the middle of a season that doesn't take a break, all time off is offset by a game-heavy period.  That game heavy period starts Thursday, when the Wolverines play a Penn State team that just got done beating Sparty at Breslin.  It will be the first contest of three that Michigan will play over six days.  They will get only Friday to prepare to play a Saturday night ESPN televised (6pm) non-conference game against UCONN in Storrs.  Then two days off to prepare for the Sparty invasion on Tuesday night...also on ESPN (7pm).

If Michigan Basketball was looking for a good time to get things back on track, this is it.  With Penn State poised to crack the top 25, it looks like it will be three games against three ranked opponents...one of which will likely be the #1 team in the country.  With two of the games on ESPN, the world (and the selection committee) will be watching, and that's no time to be losing by 18 points.

The Top 10 Things To Forget About 2008

Let's all just pretend that 2008 didn't happen.  Seriously, it's only one year.  Everybody else does it.  Everybody has their delusions.  Ohio State contends that the 12 years that John Cooper made the calls for the Buckeyes never happened, and ignores the fact that the 2002 National Championship was won with an ineligible Maurice Clarrett.  Michigan State Basketball warps the time-space continuum between 1979 and 1999, pretending that their 2 (yes, just 2) National Championships were nearly back-to-back, despite the 20 years and only three trips to the round of 16 during that period.  They also imagine that they are a Big Ten contender in football, despite having less championships the Northwestern Wildcats and the University of Chicago (defunct in 1939).  Hell, Notre Dame has been pretending to be relevant since 1993.

So, ya, let's just sweep all this crap under the rug....

10.  3/14/08: Michigan Basketball defeated Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten tournament back in March.  They followed it up with 34 TOTAL POINTS on 10 of 50 from the floor in a second round loss to Wisconsin (51-34).

9.  3/19/08: Terelle Pryor, on the heels of magically appearing Corvettes and giant watches, committed to Ohio State.

8.  9/13/08: In a downpour, Michigan fumbled seven times in a 35-17 loss in South Bend to Notre Dame.

7.  10/4/08: Michigan gives up 45 points (45-20) on homecoming to an Illinois team that went 5-7 on the year.

6.  8/21/08: Before Beaver committed and decommitted, and before Tate became the lone QB commit (to date), there was Kevin Newsome...  Who committed in the Spring and decommitted before he got to see the Wolverines even play a game under RichRod.  Newsome has since pledged his fleeting loyalty to JoePa.

5.  4/10/2008:  Michigan Hockey fell in the Frozen Four semi-final to Notre Freakin' Dame.

4.  4/12/2008:  Michigan has an "invite only" Spring Game at Ann Arbor Saline High School that requires climbing trees and walls to get a glimpse.  I really hope they're working on this for this year.

3.  11/15/2008:  Michigan falls to Northwestern 21-14 in a driving, freezing rain.  In addition, the crowd of approximately 30,000 literally laughs as an attendance of 107,856 is announced.

2.  11/22/2008:  The sounds of (Penn State's patented, and Buckeye stolen) Zombie Nation adorns kickoff after kickoff in a 28-0 second half as Ohio State never calls off the dogs in a 42-7 drubbing in Columbus.

1.  10/11/2008:  Michigan falls to Toledo 13-10.  Toledo only had two other wins (Eastern and Miami of Ohio) and fired their coach before the end of the season.