Way Back When-sday Captures the Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Can't remember a time where more things went our way than in the 2012 Sugar Bowl.  Knuckleballs from Denard all day that were just out of reach of the defenders and landed just in the reach of our receivers.  It would take all of that luck to pull it out 23-20 in overtime with a Gibbons field goal that had a cute anecdote that got less cute in the offseason.  Oh well, a BCS bowl victory is a BCS bowl victory.

The rest of the story is here.

Weekend Roundup is Ready for Some Futbol

  • A Brandon-era holdover is rearing it's European head this summer.  I feel like the word Stalin should be shoehorned into that last sentence.  Anywho, Real Madrid vs. Chelsea is a thing apparently, and it will take place in The Big House on July 30.  Had a pretty good tailgate for the last one, but I hated all that red, and wasn't too impressed with my 10oz, $10, warm Guinness.  Regardless, see you there.
  • Speaking of wearing red, Jimmy and Johnny made good brothers-in-law for the Sweet 16 Indiana-North Carolina game.  Do I like it?  No.  I like it even less when it happens in Crisler.  But is it the worst thing ever?  If he shits the bed to the tune of a few 4-loss seasons in a row, we will use it as his death knell.  But for now, I defer.
  • Not one, but two Spartys will compete in the college 3-point contest during Final Four weekend in Houston.  The contest is reserved for players NOT actually in the Final Four, and these fellas were eligible early.  Very early.
  • Beilein has stayed the course with regards to recruiting, admittedly with inconsistent results.  Coach has developed the seemingly undevelopable but also been unable to break in what we thought were sure things.
  • Football rented out Ford Field for a day and invited the public in to watch a practice.  Pretty cool.  My short and uneducated analysis is that Quinn better be ready to kick, O'Korn is not a lock, and the running game looks really good when the defense can't go full tackle.  In other news, the Wheatley clan hasn't missed a meal in a while, father or son it seems, but that tackle-eligible-looking mass of athlete Tyrone Wheatley Jr. made a nice one handed grab on Saturday, summoning ooohs and ahhhs from the Maize and Blue faithful in the house that Calvin Johnson deserted.
  • Not a good month to be a Spartan.  Mateen.  Draymond.  MTSU.

Go Blue.  It's softball season.

Not the Storybook Ending

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The Wolverines fell short in their quest for a frozen four appearance, succumbing to North Dakota in their 2nd round game in Cincy 5-2.  I don't know much about hockey, perhaps even less about college hockey.  It's a shame since I live a stones throw from one of the great old arenas in the sport, and lived even closer in college.  We stormed South U to celebrate not one, but two national championships in my time as a student.  Hockey means something here.  And Red Berenson is an absolute legend.  He's like Joe Paterno, only would have single handedly beat the shit out of Sandusky, even at 76 years old.  If tonight was in fact his final game, be prepared for everything that involves ice, a puck or a stick to have his name added to it in the coming years.

In short, thanks Coach.  You were the only "red" I could ever tolerate.  Go Blue.

What's Up This Weekend Has Stuff To Do

Friday, March 25, 2016

  • Softball vs. Northwestern at Wilpon, 4pm (BTN Plus)
  • Baseball vs. UIC at Wilpon, 4pm
  • Hockey vs. Notre Dame (NCAA Tournament, Cincinnati, OH) 5:30P (ESPNU)
    • This could happen, so you better watch

Saturday, March 26, 2016

  • Baseball vs. UIC at Wilpon, Noon
  • Michigan Football OPEN PRACTICE at Ford Field, Noon
  • Softball vs. Northwestern at Wilpon, 2pm (BTN Plus)
  • Baseball vs. UIC at Wilpon, 2pm
  • Hockey vs. Somebody (NCAA Tournament Regional Final, Cincinnati, OH) (ESPN2)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

  • Baseball vs. UIC at Wilpon, 1pm
  • Softball vs. Northwestern at Wilpon, 1pm

Pool History: Throwback Thursday Top 5 Over the Last 5 Years

There's games tonight.  And they're all awesome on paper.  Back in the saddle.

For those out of the loop this year, a quick update on the standings (using the possible points metric) of the UMTailgate.com tournament challenge:

Ya man, one dude's got 2 brackets still in the running.  Scenarios show he's got about a 25% chance of winning the whole thing.  Pretty strong for only being at the sweet sixteen session.  Of course, things could change drastically tonight for him...and all of us.

But this is Throwback Thursday, so I thought we should look back and celebrate a little history of the UMTailgate.com tournament challenge.  We've been on Pickhoops for 5 years now, and they keep an archive (convenient!).  And though our contest here dates back to March of 2001, and I've been hosting one since 1991 (8th grade dudes), I think we'll just stick with the 5-year retrospective, if for no other reason than sheer laziness.

We start back in 2011.  Michigan was an 8-seed, an F'n 8-seed at that, but would fall to Duke in the round of 32.  8-seed Butler and 11-seed VCU shocked the world making the Final Four along with 4-seeded Kentucky and 3-seeded UCONN.  UCONN would knock off Butler in the Championship game.  I have a strong memory of this tourney.  Morehead State knocked off my champion pick, Louisville, by 3:30pm on day 1 of the tournament, effectively killing my bracket.  But this tourney was so crazy, that if Butler had beat UCONN in the final, I'd have won the whole damn thing anyway.

Seriously, look at those scores.  We've got people this year with 48 points already, with possibilities of hitting 100.  Nobody did well in 2011.

In 2012, Michigan fell to Ohio in the first round in the 4 vs 13 matchup.  Sad early exit.  Louisville, Kentucky, OSU, and Kansas would make the final four, and Kentucky would knock off Kansas in the finals.

Back to back top-5s for your's truly.  But edged out of the money line by a man with bad tattoos.  Damn you Goody.

In 2013...  well we all know what happened in 2013.  Finally everybody jumped on the bandwagon and picked the Wolverines to win it all.  I'd been doing it every year since 1991....every year we made the tournament that is.  Michigan, Syracuse, Wichita State, and Louisville in the Final Four.  Johns over the Wolverines in the Final.

Goody back in there again?  And even more impressive, Dr Dan Grant snags his 2nd victory in 3 seasons..

2014 would see the Wolverines make the regional final and lose to the Kentucky Wildcats, falling a step short of back-to-back Final Fours.  Kentucky, Wisconsin, Florida, and UCONN made the final four, with UCONN knocking off the Wildcats in the final. 

Ooof.  What happened?  68 points wins it all?!?!  That's right.  Nobody had 7-seed UCONN or 8-seed Kentucky in the final.

Last year's tournament was without our fair Wolverines, so I enthusiastically cheered for Duke in support of my lovely wife (I swear, just ask her)...and especially when they played against Mr. March and friends.  Duke, Sparty, Wisconsin, and Kentucky made the Final Four, with Duke knocking off Wisconsin in the Final.  And we kept it in the family...

Fun stuff.  Some other TBT I'll dig up the rest of the archives.  Enjoy the games!