Monday Links

Dylan Burkhardt

  • Revolutionary Fab Five still resonates
    Wetzel has a piece on the Fab Five reunion and how important they are today. I know Michigan fans have a wide range of feelings on this one but at some point I think they have to be forgiven.
  • In Tournaments, N.C.A.A. Shines at Its Athletes’ Expense
    The New York Times reminds us what exactly what the NCAA tournament is: a business. Continuing with the Fab Five, I found it interesting that the Fab Five was featured in just about every NCAA feature video at the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA tournament in Kansas City. The games don’t count but of course the NCAA can still use them in their commercials for their own promotion.
  • U-M recruits see fruits of hard work in NCAA appearance
    Some quotes from the 2009 class on Michigan’s NCAA appearance.
  • Courtney Sims wins D-League MVP
    Nice honor for Court after a successful season in the D-League.
  • UConn Game Recap (4/4/09)
    There was some basketball played over the weekend and Michigan State took care of their business. There is no denying that MSU is running a top notch program (one of the best of the 2000’s?) but for everyone worrying about recruiting I ask you this: if MSU loses on Saturday does it change their program? Michigan State is going to get their recruits no matter what — Michigan just has to worry about themselves.
  • National Championship Game Preview
    There’s also a game tonight and Spartans Weblog is the place for the preview. I loved Michigan State’s chances on Saturday but I don’t think they have a shot tonight. KenPom only likes Carolina by 3 while Vegas likes Carolina by 7.5.
  • Inside Green Ground Zero—Final 4 Takes, Photos
    MVictors has pictures from downtown Detroit including some shots from the Fab Five reunion.
  • Big Ten commissioner critical of networks’ coverage
    “I don’t think it’s the beat writers,” Delany told a small group of reporters during the off day Sunday at the Final Four. “I think it’s mostly electronic media and I think it’s mostly CBS and ESPN.
  • The Life of a Referee
    The number of games that an official works is downright ridiculous. Check out StatSheet’s referee statistics as well, shockingly Mr. Hightower only comes in at 23rd in number of games officiated.
  • Cheering for MSU from Ann Arbor
    What would you say to get your name on ESPN?

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  • Kenny

    I am not going to cheer for UNC tonight but there is no way for me to cheer for the spartans.

  • Matt

    I’m cheering for the Spartans FOR SURE. They represent the Big Ten well and the state well. I will always be a Michigan fan and will NEVER be a state fan, but I am rooting for the Spartans tonight. I hope they kill the Tar Heels and show that the state of Michigan has something to be proud of.

  • AC1997

    I found that ref tracking site fantastic! Here’s what I discovered:

    — Big Ten refs averaged a significant 2.7 fouls per game FEWER during conference games than they did across all games they ref’d. I think Manny could have told you that.
    — Compare that to Big East refs, who averaged only 1.2 fewer fouls per game in their conference games.
    — On the season, 1.4 more fouls were called in a typical Big East game than a Big Ten game. I don’t think that’s significant, but it follows the trend I would have suspected.

    I’m sure there are infinite ways to analyze this stuff. Great data.

    And I’m not rooting for MSU tonight. I won’t root against them either, but I think I’d prefer slightly that they lose.

  • Giddings

    Hightower officiated a whopping 15 Sparty games this year… how crazy is that?

  • Mith

    I have no problem rooting for MSU tonight. I only like UNC when they play against Duke.

  • steve

    When looking for a reason to cheer on sparty I think the best one is that even though they are the little brother, they are still a brother.

    That said, I’m rooting for UNC. I hate sparty and all of the text messages and calls I get from friends and family after everytime they win a game.

    Also on a side note, I think we would have beaten UCONN in Detroit,or on any neutral court for that matter. We played them a hell of a game in Storrs. They have all the talent in the world but Calhoun is a terrible coach. With their size, strength, and talent, there’s no way they should ever lose to MSU, let alone beat us by 8 points or whatever it was. He needs to retire, talent can’t keep bailing him out, and now he’s finally getting busted for that talent getting there in the first place.

    And the UofA coaching search is beginning to resemble our football situation. What a joke.

  • Benjamin

    @Steve – have the Arizona blogs resorted to flight tracking yet? LOL…that was my favorite.

    And, I agree with Dylan and most the commenters here- while I won’t be (outwardly) cheering for MSU, you have to respect their accomplishments.

    And, the fact of the matter is, win or loss tonight, they are going to get their recruits. To echo what Dylan said above, we are going to have just worry about ourselves.

  • I’m torn for tonight. I highly respect Izzo, and think he for the most part recruits respectable kids. But I’ve been a UNC fan since I was 5 because one of my aunts is from NC and she basically beat me into submission. If UNC wins then there will be another year of ACC SUCCESS in the media and on TV. But I live in EL and work with only MSU fans so if they win I’ll have to do with both riots and their incessant chatter for at least another 8 months. It is really a lose lose situation so I’m just rooting for a close game. MSU is playing their best basketball at the right time and Izzo has just completely outcoached two of the best coaches in the nation. But UNC beat them by 30+ this year, on the same court, and is also playing their most inspired and dominant basketball of the year. If I had to wager I’d say UNC wins by 10 or 11 but it really only being a 4 or 5 point win. UNC is playing for their seniors and for Ty Lawson where I think MSU’s “we’re playing for Detroit” mentality is largely fictitious and mostly a recruiting ploy by Izzo.

  • Sam

    I just don’t see how any true Michigan fan can actually “cheer” for state to win this game. OK, so maybe it doesn’t play a HUGE role in recruiting, but it sure can’t help us recruiting-wise if they win tonight. And I am so sick of all the wall posts from all the Walmart fans after every single win. Go Heels for one night.

  • Call it what you want but I won’t be cheering for MSU. They’ve made it far enough.

  • Adam

    No true Michigan fan can cheer for MSU. Michigan State winning directly hurts Michigan! I was down in Detroit on Saturday and it was crazy down there. That cannot help Michigan recruiting. Detroit kids seeing the kind of fan support that MSU is getting and all of the hype around the final four, it can do nothing but hurt UM. If you want Michigan to ever start to creep closer to MSU level in basketball, MSU cannot be winning national championships and going to the final four every other year.

    I am tired of MSU getting their pick of the litter for recruits in Michigan and UM getting anybody that State isn’t really interested in. I know MSU recruited Manny and DeShawn a little bit, but not nearly as hard as Michigan did. MSU had Kalin Lucas and Durell Summers to replace Manny so they weren’t concerned. Michigan has to scrap and claw for everything that they get in basketball so MSU basketball success DOES NOT HELP US!

    GO TAR HEELS!!!!!!!! And win by 35 again!

  • Also, this point has been made other places. But MSU has been dominant over Michigan for several years (10) and Michigan has still gotten their fair share of quality recruits from in-state: Dion, Les, DeShawn, Manny, etc.

    There are going to be Michigan kids and MSU kids. If MSU loses tonight, those kids that wanted to MSU aren’t going to look at this year as anything but a success. It’s a great recruiting tool but Michigan has to forge their own way.

  • AG2

    I hate the ACC in basketball the way I hate the SEC in football. That being said, why did I enjoy OSU’s humiliation in the BCS but I don’t necessarily want MSU to lose? Simple. I HATE OSU, I’m ambivalent about MSU. Call it a “not our rival” attitude, but Mike Hart was right, MSU is little brother. Its kindof a feel good story when your little brother does well, but you’ll never hear the end of it if they ever beat you.

    That, and I can’t stand the thought of ESPN hyping the ACC (and by extension, themselves for supporting the ACC all season). So really a win over UNC is a win over ESPN and all those fools who hated on Big Ten Basketball all season long.

    At least we’ll be able to unite after this week to push the real underdogs, the Pistons, into the playoffs.

  • What about the Tigers, they are certainly an underdog in the AL Central. :-)

  • UMDC

    Personally, I always cheer for UM first and the Big Ten second (it doesn’t matter which B10 team it is). It might be easier for me to do this since I live outside the state and thus don’t spend much time around MSU fans.

    The perception of the Big Ten affects us directly and we need MSU to be respectable in this game. The effect on recruiting is marginal at best, in my opinion. There are plenty of kids around the country for us to get. Detroit and the state of Michigan are not our only hopes for Bball success. And we still get many quality guys from there anyway as Dylan points out above.

    This is just like in football. OSU getting whipped in NC games has hurt the Big Ten a lot and thus hurt us a lot.

  • BK

    I hate MSU, especially in basketball. But once they get on the national stage like this, I just can’t help but support them against national powers like UNC. I’d support any Big Ten team, except probably Ohio State, just to get some more respect for the conference. The recruiting damage has already been done.

  • BK

    The Tigers are a bit underrated going into this year. They drastically improved thier defense, finally added some speed on the base paths, and got rid of dead weight in Rentaria and Shefield.
    I think that hitting will be a strong suit as hopefully they can “manufacture” some more runs this year, instead of having to hit every ball out of the park. The season is going to come down to pitching though. Verlander needs to step up and be the ace he can be and we need some good production from the 2nd half of our rotation, be it Miner, Robetson, or Porcello.
    If they get that production, the bullpen holds up injury wise, and a closer emerges, I think the Tigers could suprise a lot of people this year. Some big ifs, but more surprising things have happened.
    I’d say they make a run at the division but probably wind up falling short and winning around 85 games.

    Regardless, I’m signing up for MLB TV as we speak so I can get the games here in Scotland, and I can’t wait to see some Tigers baseball!!!

  • Bill

    Big Ten commissioner critical of networks’ coverage.

    Get some refs who call the fouls that are there to call. The low scoring games is what keep the conference from getting better pub.

    when you have a game in the thirties for the final score people will think less of the big ten. I’m sure a lot of people like the physical play but all it does is hold the scores down and give the bigger more phisical teams a bigger advantage then they already have.

    MSU has a mix of skill and phisical players. OSU, Ill and wisc had more physical teams and went out quick. UM and Purdue did better but they have more skilled players.

    If Delany wants to get better pub he should consider getting on the refs to reward skill and not brute force. UM lost a couple of games down the stretch because Manny was pounded on drives to the basket against Wisc and Iowa. I’m thinking its his own fault and he should do somthing about it instead of whinning.

    Beilein is recruiting skill and I’m thinking their success will come more outside the conference then in it due to the physical nature of the conference.

  • Kevin

    That’s a great point about how Sparty is our little brother (especially in football). Because it’s true we’re not really rivals until the week that we play them. In football we don’t even get really excited with a win. I’ve always been a little annoyed how all of the State fans start talkin as soon as they win, while when we win, we usually talk to OSU. I think it’s almost like a bigger version of Illinois “rivalry” with us. We don’t really even acknowledge it.

  • Ryan

    Bill you are 100% correct…the way Big 10 basketball is officiated rewards and encourages coaches like Izzo, Ryan, and Painter in their hump-you-man-all-over-the-court philosophy…which is not basketball. It’s simply a matter of getting some competent referees who understand real basketball, not the wrestling that the above 3 coaches teach and espouse. Once that happens the talent that is in the league will shine through, we’ll be recognized for being one of the very top conferences, and we’ll all be treated to, you know, actual BASKETBALL.

  • BK

    Man, I love physical play, and really I thinks its the advantage that has MSU in the finals tonight. Plus I can’t stand seeing any more ticky tack fouls than are already called.
    I think Beline will realize soon, if he hasn’t already, that you need a couple of bruisers on the roster to win in this conference. Once we get more well rounded and step up to being adequate physically and still extremely skilled shooting wise I don’t think we will mind the style of play at all.

  • AG2

    Did CBS just put the tape of the December 3 game in? That’s exactly what it looks like. UNC shooting lights out again, UNC getting all the calls again, MSU turning it over like mad, again.

  • I guess we didn’t have to worry about cheering for MSU…

  • gpsimms

    maybe allen should chuck a few more threes….

  • AG2

    Chris Webber thinks MSU is humiliating itself vs. UNC.

  • GregGoBlue

    The only chance MSU has is if Magic can come off the bench…

  • AG2

    I’m not going to be able to watch ESPN for a month without hearing how awesome the UNC is, how awesome the ACC is, and how awesome ESPN is for hyping UNC and the ACC.

  • Fab54ever

    The Fab5 would of wiped the floor with either team tonight

  • Fab54ever

    Also, how does Lawson not get the final four MVP. Wayne Ellington are u kdding me.

  • Giddings

    And thank you CBS for honoring our first trip to the Tournament in 11 years (and first win as well) by showing a 2-second clip of Blake Griffin dunking over LLP as the only mention of Michigan in the entire “One Shining Moment” video.

  • Really this game was decided when UNC lost to Kansas last year. They took their foot off the gas and still won by 17. I said above that I was torn about who to root for, and I was, but you watch a team like UNC dismantle someone like that and you can’t help but be in awe of their performance. Great win for a solid program.

  • Some pretty shocking numbers… 27.6% turnover rate versus 9.2%. UNC free throw rate 65.6% versus 52.7% for MSU. Shooting and rebounding came pretty even.

  • AG2

    UNC exploited MSU’s biggest weakness: they are a disciplined team that wants to play undisciplined basketball. UNC provoked them into a track meet and that’s when the turnovers come out. There are a lot of stats you can point to, like UNC’s 40 freethrows (18 for Lawson alone), MSU’s Amaker-esque turnover total, or MSU’s abysmal 3pt shooting. But the one that stands out the most: Lawson’s 8 steals vs. Lucas’ 6 turnovers.

  • WTHef?

    A disappointing “One Shining (Griffin) Moment” for sure…the only saving grace is that since he was in 25% of all clips, he also got the crying one.

  • Bluebufoon

    Carolina dominated MSU with their size in the paint. In the first half when Carolina got out to that huge lead Deon Thompson, Hansbrough and Ed Davis ate the Spartans alive.

  • KainKitizen

    The video’s seems to be getting better as the team gets better. That’s a HOT way of promoting season tickets. I can not wait to see what’s next on the list of next season promotion team video. They want sell-out’s for home games with the selling point’s turned into a hot video. The excitement is in the air already for next season!

  • That video makes me wish I wasn’t moving out west in a few months so I could see them play it in the Big House this fall. The background music is the real kicker that puts it over the top.

  • UMDC

    Agreed, WTHef?, the one shining Griffin moment made me sick. Hard to believe CBS could make me feel the Hansbrough love wasn’t so bad. At least his time got to the final four, final game, and won the national championship.

    Griffin’s so good, he lifted his team to a whole two more victories than us. And one of those was over us!

  • unhappy

    not sure about the rest of you, but I was happy to see Izzo and MSU get their asses kicked. How did you sleep, Izzo?

  • AG2

    Since I hate UNC way more than MSU, I was disappointed. Especially because I think MSU could have beat that team if Izzo wasn’t convinced he could run with them.

  • Musket Rebellion

    Izzo put together two outstanding coaching performances just to get them into the finals, but you’re right, he should have known he didn’t have the guns to run with UNC. You’d think that after they got destroyed the first time trying that he would have changed things up a bit.

  • Adam

    REMINDER: MSU is NOT little brother in basketball, just football. So you don’t feel good for little brother winning. I’m real happy that MSU got destroyed. If you are a Michigan fan and you do not hate MSU, OSU, and ND then you are not much of a fan at all. MSU, OSU, and ND you battle every year in sports and on the recruiting trail so these things are big. You need every advantage you can get over them.

  • AG2

    Adam, I never said I was ever ok with losing to any of these teams. That being said, I do not find myself obligated as a Michigan fan to root for MSU to lose every single game. Heck, I don’t even root for OSU to lose every single game! After all, what good would beating an 0-11 team at the end of the season do for Michigan’s ranking? I do root for OSU to get embarrassed in bowl games though.

    As for MSU its the same thing, when they’re good, it makes you look good for beating them. And I most certainly was NOT going to root for North Carolina to win! Besides, there’s nothing that gets a sparty’s blood boiling faster than condescension!

    That being said, ND is not in our conference. They could lose to Grinell for all I care.

  • Adam

    So you dislike NC more than your rivals? The reason there are rivals is because you dislike them and despise them and would like nothing better than to see them fail. OSU, MSU and Notre Dame drive me crazy and I don’t have an ounce of joy seeing them succeed ever.