I don't know what I was expecting out of the Wolverines today, but I know what I was expecting out of a Maryland team that had dropped their last two: their absolute best. And that might have been what we saw, arguably the best starting five in the country bringing their A-game, in which case we can continue to hope. Maybe the stark reality of Caris not returning is finally kicking in. No where to go. No one to lean on. Walton and Irvin need to lead. Donnal needs to be what he was today, crafty and scrappy. Someone needs to come off that bench every game the rest of the way like Kameron Chatman did today. Hit threes. Win.
It's been a season of extreme's, as we find ourselves either pleasantly surprised or greatly disappointed depending on the team that shows up. Some ugly wins, but (until tonight) not a lot of feel good losses...if there is such a thing. We're caught in limbo, bitching about Beilein and his foul policies one minute, and wondering how he masterfully makes this youth-filled rag tag bunch competitive the next. A text message I received when the Wolverines took the lead said "I am convinced Beilein is a witch." Another said "if he doesn't take Doyle out right now he should be fired." Extremes. And that was how the game went today. Amazingly competitive with everybody playing bigger and better than they are one minute, completely inept and scared the next, falling victims to dribble penetration again and again and again. They were a little more of the former though, showing a fortitude that has been lacking in the other losses they've had this year. They hung tough with whatever version of Maryland this was before falling 86-82.
Pretty sure the Wolverines need to win their remaining three games to lock in that tourney bid, a tall order considering how Wisky seems to finally be getting it together, and that our final game is against Iowa. I think two out of three would require a not-early exit from the B1G tourney. Seth Davis played carnival barker at halftime, reminding the nation (and the selection committee) how the Big Ten shit the bed in the non-conference and claimed that 5 should be all that make it. Hard to argue. Their not going to take OSU, Wisconsin and us to make 8 that's for sure, and we just got our asses handed to us in Columbus, making next Sunday night's affair in Madison all the more important...meanwhile not sleeping on Chris Collins and the Wildcats on Wednesday.