Best tournament ever? Nope, 1989 was.
But this one was pretty good. Nice ebb and flow to our brackets this year too. Only two people had Villanova, but neither placed (one was me!) due to the remainder of their bracket being a pile of shit.
1st, 2nd and 3rd were all tied at 73 points, and the tiebreaker (most correct picks overall) was only able to separate 1st and 2nd place. 2nd and 3rd had to be resolved by the additional tiebreaker of total points scored in the final game.
For those that crumbled up their brackets after day one...here's your reminder to never give up. Our third place guy came out of nowhere, getting three of the final four after only having 19 of the first 32. Dude had the 'Cuse. Crazy....
Anyway, congrats to the winners. Time to go back to concentrating on football folks.
Hosting a intersquad scrimmage at night on a Friday that falls just barely out of the grips of March in Michigan is probably not the best idea. Harbaugh does not schedule things for you and your candy-ass response to a chilly breeze. Ahhh, but you showed up anyway, and so did 50K+ other dedicated idiots, hoping to catch a glimpse of the early stages of the dynasty in the making that is being peddled around the country by the greatest PR manager / coach combo ever. Jim Harbaugh is the physical embodiment of a charicature. The circumstances of his arrival here, and what he has done off of the field since, would be dismissed as fiction by the uninitiated. And that's why the sportswriter fantasies of seeing Jim play heel in the WWE are built on a certain about of merit. But the reality is that he doesn't need to join another organization to become a heel. He can play that role right here in the Big Ten, and perhaps even the NCAA. And man, for us Michigan fans, there is nothing better than having your own heel.
In the tradition of Piper's Pit or The Flower Shop, Harbaugh already has his own venue, The Big House. He sat back Friday night and looked on at the battle he created between his assistants and the civil war he created between the players. Teams were drafted NFL style. The team's last practice together included 2 hours of time when the internally split squads were separated and practiced in secret...no cameras, no spies. This was real.
Harbaugh somehow has taken a yearly tradition steeped in boredom dating back to the early years of Lloyd Carr, and turned it into something to watch, something the teams cared about, something the winners celebrated and had the losers pissed off. In short, the 2016 Spring Game was better and more interesting than most of the actual games I attended from 2007-2014. Everyone had fun, even Jim. He poked his head into both huddles, coaching with every snap. He was yelling at some, patting the asses of others. He consulted (and no doubt influenced) the referees. But most of the time he just watched, like he probably would in his own backyard. Like Jack did before him.
Yes, I'm excited.
When you have no recent results to feel good about, it's nice to be able to lean on hope. But there is work to do, and expectations are so very high.
All that's left to do is to finish the seemingly impossible mission of living up to the hype.
Okorn is QB1. Speight is in a virtual tie with Shane for QB2. FWIW I thought Shane looked a little better than Speight. And that's with my anti-lefty mindset. Okorn also loves to take off on runs, so we're probably going to need a 2nd QB. Drake Johnson has gained an extra gear since I saw him last. Kingston Davis had a run that I mention only because his jersey is going to be the coolest one (Jumpman #23). Had to look up the number of the 5th year-senior FB #37 Bobby Henderson, who did some man-dragging on his carry.
The Extra Curriculars:
A rap group performed an original song that I assume was titled "Who's Got It Better Than Us?" Jack Kennedy's appearances continue to puzzle me. Halftime had the introduction of the 2016 signees. Each of them sauntered from the endzone to the 40 yard line to shake Harbaugh's hand. The danced. (Except Onwenu. At 350, he doesn't dance.) They all had entrance music. Their heights and weights were blasted over the PA by a bellowing announcer. Make no mistake, these kids had a WWE wrestlers entrance. Welcome to the Big House fellas.
Back and forth battle with just enough trick plays to keep things exciting. Okorn to Morris to Drake Johnson was fun. Okorn led the Blue team down the field and rushed for what would have been the game tying touchdown, but they went for two and came up short. The call was reviewed, by which I mean Harbaugh and the refs watched the play again on the Big Screen with the players campaigning for the call next to them. Fun scene. Refs announced the play stands, and the white team goes apeshit...for a Spring Game.
Are all available here, or by following the link under 2016 above.
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.
- 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.