As a Michigan fan, I'm coded to find flaws. I am supposed to hail all losses as the end of the world, and find faults in nearly every victory. When the Longhorns cut the lead to six, I was certain this team was not good enough...for anything. When them game ended, I saw that we hit 14 three-pointers and thought we should have probably only really hit nine or ten of those, that those four or five extra constitute luck, and would have effectively removed the amount of points we won by.
Then I saw Syracuse and Villanova lose.
It reminded me to heed a recent UMTailgate.com study that concluded that single elimination tournaments are determined by about 30% pure basketball, 30% matchup draw, and 40% how good your team responds to tournaments. Of course at Sparty it's 80% injuries and 20% referees, but that's a unique case.
Michigan has won it's two tournament games by solid margins, and they've done it with a not-as-porous-as-advertised defense that held Wofford to it's lowest point total of the season, and Texas to it's 4th lowest point total this season.
Jordan Morgan proved more than serviceable against the giants down low despite the bevy of Texas-sized offensive rebounds, and notched yet another double-double...as I reaffirm my apologies to him and his family for the horrible angry thoughts I've had throughout the season :) I mean, honestly, aside from Mitch McGary's breakout games against VCU and Kansas last year (21 point, 14 rebounds and 24 points, 14 rebounds) Jordan Morgan's 10/10 and 15/10 the last two games stand up to anything Mitch has done in his career.
Michigan makes the sweet sixteen and marches on to Indianapolis for the regional finals, where they will have the advantage of Duke being back in Durham, and me and The Cakemaker in attendance. The latter will certainly inspire the team on to their second consecutive Final Four, though whether they will be able to hear me from my football seats at a basketball game remains to be seen. The former is nice, but allow me to refer you to the 30/30/40 rule outlined above. While Tennessee and Mercer are not our Blue Devil nemesis, there can be no complacency in the NCAA tournament. The chalk lines point to Wichita State matchup on Sunday, but I'm inclined to think we are going to be seeing a 2013 Championship rematch with the Cardinals instead. And with that I broke my old friend Norman Dale's rule: Don't talk about the next step until you've climbed the one in front of you.
Tournament Challenge Update:
Digger's Maize Highlighter maintained it's dominance, and stands at 35 picks correct out of the 40 games played. However, at this point it might be advantageous to look at who has the most possible points remaining. A shout out to Robby Araujo, who has a completely clean bracket moving forward as of noon on Sunday. Pretty impressive.
And finally, our "Thanks for your $20" bracket of the day goes to our boy Vik Bhatia, who has the elusive Syracuse - St. Louis championship game:
Relax and enjoy some basketball on this beautiful Sunday. Really take it all in...ya know, like Aaron Craft is.