Presented without context….
So that wasn’t any fun, especially after being lured in to a false sense of unbeatableness (not a word) in that first half. Cassius was locked down, and Michigan’s lineup of popsicle sticks and chewing gum looked like a bright glimpse of a pending deep-benched tournament run and an unstoppable future.
But there were adjustments. And some readjustments. Halftime ones. Media timeout ones. And each time, it got worse for the Wolverines, and Cassius woke up. And then Michigan kinda gave up, which probably deserves your criticism.
Michigan State gets to share in the 2019 Big Ten Regular Season Championship with Purdue, and while I might have bought a t-shirt had we won, it’s a championship that makes me ponder why it’s actually a thing. This is something that existed in sport only before the advent of playoffs and tournaments, recent Big 12 football seasons excepted. Regular Season Champions. It’s like those President’s Cups the Red Wings used to win before running into that hot goalie in the first round of the playoffs, or the 2018 Big Ten East trophy we have on display in Schembechler.
Anyway, we’ve been here before. Doubting Beilein is a yearly pre-tourney tradition. We were in this exact position just a year ago, with nearly the same results against a Purdue team we finally found a way to dispatch in the B1G tourney. But minus MAAR, Mo, and Duncan, Michigan is in fact in a better position entering the post season than they were last year. It will take one less game to win the B1G tourney this year, and a 2-seed in the Big Dance seems likely in just 11 days.
Nine more games are on the horizon. The story of the this team will be told in April.