We Almost Had Two Weeks Off


It's tough to beat any team 3 times.  We were starting cold...Iowa played last night.  Iowa shot the lights out in the first half.  Mo fouled out.  Rahk fouled out.  We couldn't hit free throws, going 18-32 from the line.  We couldn't hit a three, going 3-19 from deep.  Matthews blew some bunnies.  We were out-rebounded.  We got in foul trouble.

And the cherry on top?  Zavier had one of those 5-second calls that have to be followed by a game tying 3...and the basketball gods obliged for Iowa, sending the game to OT.

In OT, a Duncan Robinson three was the ONLY field goal made by the Wolverines in the entire 5 minutes.  And despite all of these things...and it looked even worse than the sum of those things mind you...Michigan managed to win by 6.

It made no sense.  A little of this, a little of that, a little Teske, a dunk by Poole.  But it was not enough, except that it was.  Weird.  I don't know how they won, and neither do they.

So it's revenge time with Nebraska.  This is not going to be easy, and despite the fact they are the 4 and we are the 5, the fact remains that we are in the dance and they are not.  They need this, we do not.  The only motivation Michigan has going for it is that Nebrasketball handed us our ass in Lincoln.  That and the bullshit 1997 Coaches Poll.




It started with Senior night.  Well, no, actually it started with a really early arriving crowd for half priced concessions until 12:30pm for what was called "fan appreciation day."  Which is utter bullshit.  They don't deserve it.  This is easily the worst of the ranked basketball fanbases, and that's probably being nice.  You probably could expand it out to Kenpom's Top-50 and you wouldn't be able to find a team as disrespected with empty lower level seats and an unfilled student section.  Blame the weather, blame the game times, the less than ideal home schedule, or maybe even blame the B1G for being a healthy steamer of a conference...none of it is an excuse for the way things have been this year.  Basketball is doing exactly what you'd like football to do: Contend for the conference title and beat our rivals.  And so many can't bother to make it to Crisler to use their already-paid-for season tickets.  

Each Senior spoke to the crowd before and after the game, and each paid homage to the Crisler crowd, but it was certainly only lip-service.  These guys have been to West Lafayette, they've been to the Nasser Center, they know what a supportive crowd looks and feels like.  Hell, Nebrasketball's arena looked like Cameron Indoor if you compare it to Crisler.  Anyway, fix it next year.  Check scans, take away season tix, or move people out of the good seats.  And if Mo Wagner has to dislocate a shoulder waiving his arms for you to get off your ass and cheer, then you should probably find something else to do.  The Wolverines were 15-1 at home this year, and the 1 loss was arguably their best game.  So you missed 16 good games you dummy.

Michigan beat #8 (and falling fast) Ohio State, avenging the Columbus collapse, and putting on a good show for a large number of home viewers on CBS, some of which will certainly be deciding seeding, so that's good.  Despite OSUs seemingly never ending string of offensive rebounds, the Wolverines were able to hold off the Buckeyes with great defense, by making their free throws (!) and hitting a couple of timely threes.  OSU inexplicably chose not to foul towards the end of the game, and allowed Michigan to pull away further with a couple of completely missed assignments underneath, finally ending the game with a 74-62 victory.

The win felt good.  Which is rare as a Michigan fan these days.  Was trying to think of the last time I felt good while in attendance at an athletic event.  Been a while.  Probably the kickoff classic, but that was smoke and mirrors since Florida sucked so bad their head coach is now our receivers coach.  Might have to go back to that 29-point drubbing of Sparty a year ago.  Rare.  It's easier to be a Spartan fan man.  They're just happy when a week goes by and nobody gets arrested.  Just kidding.  They're happy either way.


  • Letting Hatch come out with the senior players and having him announced as a starter was first class.  Beilein is the freakin best.
  • The crowd rattled the shit out of transfer turncoat Andrew Dakich, who played 22 minutes with a o-fer on his stat line.
  • Two big road tests remain, one of which is at Sandusky U, who is playing decent basketball of late.  The other is at Maryland, who gave us all we could handle at home.
  • Somebody is going to need to get hot for this March run.  This team still lacks a go to guy.  
  • Charles Matthews needs to get un-cold.  I've lost all confidence in him driving with the basketball.  Dude had 4 of the 7 UM turnovers.

Gators Take Title, Woods Takes Prize

First of all, I guess I should congratulate each and every one of our participants in the 6th annual UMTailgate.com tournament challenge. Only 25 people had any team in the final four, 2 of which had 2 of the final four...no one with even 3. Only 2 people had either UCLA or Florida in the final game. And for the first time in tournament pool history, no one picked the champion. No one. Way to go.

But it was an odd tournament. Several unexpected teams were given a bid, and most quickly proved that they belonged. It was easily the most exciting set of NCAA tournament games that I can remember. There were very few blowouts, that is until the last three games, all of which left something a little something to be desired. In the end it was the SEC that outshined the superpowers of the Big Ten and the Big East, getting two teams into the Final Four, and getting the honor of the crowned champion in the Florida Gators.

Three of us did make our way to Indianapolis, the Circle City, and were able to partake in the offerings of Seven, Jermaine Oneal's swanky nightclub on the north side of town. We imbibed with the who's who of college basketball, rubbing elbows with JJ Redick and Adam Morrisson, and enjoying the 3am last call time.

Another successful NCAA Tournament Challenge and Final Four trip for UMTailgate.com...congratulations to our winners:

1st Place: Don Woods, infrequent tailgater and co-worker of the Webmaster (pictured above)
2nd Place: Nick Strok, frequent tailgater and the best hands in the Huron League
3rd Place: Craig Vargo, horrible Buckeye slappy that refuses to admit that 2002s and 2004s football victories over Michigan should be vacated due to ineligible players

Less than two weeks until the Spring Game...who's in?


Fill In Your Own Gamecocks Joke Here

The 2005-6 Michigan Basketball season came to an end tonight in Madison Square Garden in front of a pro-Blue New York crowd. South Carolina put the Wolverines away early, a Wolverine team that put its post season in the hands of its seniors. The Michigan's seniors represented Tommy Ammaker's first recruiting class, and ended their disappointing careers with yet another disappointment. South Carolina defeated Michigan 76-64, and it wasn't nearly that close on the court. The win makes the Gamecocks only the second team ever (St. John's) to win back-to-back NIT championships.

A frustrated Brent Petway, a big man in Chris Hunter that continues to play as if he were a slow crappy guard, and an inept Courtney Sims were not enough of a supporting cast for Daniel Horton's 18 points. Horton ends his career with a doughnut in the assist column, and along with his fellow classmates, zero NCAA Tournament appearances. The players themselves are not nearly as much of a problem as was their lack of development over the last 4 years. The difference between Sophomore Daniel Horton and Senior Daniel Horton is negligible, and you can make the same case for most, if not all, of the remaining players that participated in their final game in the Maize and Blue.

It makes one question if the leader we have is the leader that will take Michigan to that next level. No doubt Tommy has endured more than most, but that chapter has ended, and it's time for a new chapter to begin. Tonight's game wasn't going to change that.

Maybe DeShawn Sims will.

So it's finally time to turn the page. Basketball is over. Hockey is over. Football is starting. Just two weeks until the Spring Game. Then 4 ½ short months until we face off against the Commodores. I CAN'T WAIT.

Just a reminder...the tournament page will not be updated until Sunday as a skeleton crew of UMTailgaters will be heading to Indy for the Final Four. Look for updates when I return. And as always...