The last three weeks were three of the best of my life and I want to thank all of you for making it possible.
Michigan’s NCAA tournament run was a perfect end to the best Michigan basketball season in decades. Final Four banners are going up in the Crisler Center and they have nothing to do with the Fab Five.
All too often we get caught up in today’s moment and fail to recognize the big picture. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. Always worrying about tonight’s recap, tomorrow’s preview and yesterday’s problems. Until the next day when the vicious cycle starts again.
As a game, basketball promotes this line of thinking. The team’s abilities – in the eye of the public – are measured on the last game. Lose to Penn State? Cancel the program. Beat Michigan State? Print the championship t-shirts. But that’s not how basketball works. The season is a winding journey and every game along the way builds to the final product. Even then chance gets in the way.
The last two weeks of Michigan’s regular season were painful. Even the most optimistic of fans had to lose some faith. I’d be lying if I said I planned to travel to Dallas and I would have laughed if anyone mentioned Atlanta when the brackets were announced on Selection Sunday.
But the last three weeks provided the sort of validation that this season needed and this team deserved. Michigan’s extremely talented, young and humble team put everything together for three special weeks. And that’s how they’ll be remembered.
I remember the first time I watched Trey Burke in high school. He hit seven threes and it was clear he was special. The first thing I listed on his scouting post was “clutch leadership”. I never imagined he’d be the best player in the country. He is. His (likely) two year career is as decorated as just about anyone in Michigan history. Cherish every moment you watched No. 3 play because they were special.
I started this website in December of 2007. Michigan went 10-22 that year and looked nothing short of awful. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that I’d have the opportunity to experience something like this. Following the Wolverines through six grueling tournament games, traveling from Detroit to Dallas to Atlanta, was a once in a lifetime experience. And I have to thank all of you for making it possible.
Without your support in November, this would have never been possible. Without all of you coming together to help fund the site, Joe and I would have been covering the games from home rather than in person. We can only hope that we successfully repaid you.
UM Hoops had a first hand staff member or freelancer at every Michigan game this year. Our travels took us from Ann Arbor to Dallas to State College to New York City and seemingly everywhere in between. I’m not sure there’s anything that illustrates just how great of an impact your donations can have better than our coverage of Michigan’s tournament run. From Selection Sunday through the middle of last night we published 161 posts – roughly seven posts per day. We can only hope that they helped you experience this special season as well. Booking flights across the country on three day’s notice, 3:30 a.m. nights in the media workroom, and 6:00 a.m. flights back home… to go to my actual job, were all worth it. We are proud of what we published over the last month, and the entire season. Joe, Dustin, Josh and everyone who has helped along the way would tell you that contributing to this site is a labor of love.
But the beat goes on and as always we want to reach out for your support. AAU season is kicking off and we’ll have plenty of coverage to wrap up the 2013 season… even if we might take a day off – or at least go to bed before 2 a.m. – over the next week.
We’re not going to set a dramatic goal but we do want to ask for your support once again so that we can continue to make this site, and community, what we hope it can be. You can donate via PayPal or WePay below.