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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This is going to sound strange coming from someone who has previously stated

  • Michigan probably didn't deserve to be in the tourney and
  • I didn't really want to see Michigan in the tourney,
but... um... we got screwed. Statement A was based largely on ignorance of the motley crew of middling mid-majors we were competing with for bids at the tail end of the field. Statement B went out the window in a fit of pique. I won't go into the details since fellow curling aficionado Matt Glaude has already lacerated the committee extensively for including Air Force and then (oops, he) did it again in regards to Utah State and an amazing graph from a Katz column:
One of the last teams not to make the field was another mid-major: Western Kentucky. The committee looked strongly at the Hilltoppers, regular-season champs of the Sun Belt. Western Kentucky, which lost to South Alabama in the conference title game, had an RPI of 55, a strength of schedule of 116, a 1-2 record against the top 50, a non-conference SOS (strength of schedule) of 29, and a 7-4 road record. Meanwhile, the NIT placed Western Kentucky as a 6-seed in the South region.
Yeesh. Suffice it to say that a lot of dumb words are being used to justify some dumb decisions. I mean, when Ken Pomeroy -- who's not exactly known for being a raving loon -- says this:
Having said that, this seems like the most bizarre bracket ever. I’m not going to break down all of the questionable decisions this committee made. It’s over and done with and it’s time to move on. But this year’s committee has set a precedent that even if you think there is no logical case for your team getting a bid, you better tune in to the Selection Show anyway because logic may not necessarily apply.
... you done bad.

Anyway, we still have to fill out brackets -- we're pissed off, but we're still Americans. Midwest Bias offers up a heap of good advice, including "Don't pick Texas Tech," which should be easy this year.

Compounding the joy in basketball Mudville is a recent article in the News on 2007 SG commitment Alex Legion featuring more creepy "we"-speak from Legion's AAU coach:
Legion's AAU coach, Tim Green, said Legion's unhappiness might spark a change of schools, possibly to Oak Hill Academy (Va.), at the end of this school year.

"We'll keep our options open," Green said.

... though he's still committed:
Whether or not Legion transfers, he and Green, with whom Legion lives in Southfield, said Legion will honor the commitment he made to Michigan.

"As long as (Michigan coach) Tommy Amaker is there, Alex is going there," Green said.

Said Legion: "No matter if I stay at Country Day or leave, I'll stay committed."

Emphasis mine, because that arrangement is frighteningly reminiscent of the Jamal Crawford situation. For those who don't remember the brief flicker of relevance during the Brian Ellerbe era, Crawford was yanked off the court midway through his freshman year because he lived with some benefactor who happened to be a coach or a shoe dude or something. The NCAA decreed he had to repay the benefactor some $12,000 dollars before being allowed to resume his collegiate career; Crawford entered the draft. No doubt there's some obscure technicality that permits Legion's arrangement, but it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

We know! has a pseudo-blog that's posted an interesting article on designated whipping boy Pat Massey with depressing confirmation of the educated Michigan fan's conventional wisdom:
... he fits the prototype of a 3-4 defensive end. And that opens the possibility – however small it may be – that Massey will eventually land with the Browns, the team he grew up rooting for.

Massey said Michigan played a version of the true 3-4 defense at times – “just a couple of games” – and that he embraced his role, playing head-up over an opposing tackle.

“Those were far and away my best games,” he said.

Aye, that they were, which makes Michigan's decision to throw him inside and roll the highly effective Alan Branch outside all the more puzzling. Hopefully the new coaching regime ceases jamming square pegs into round holes.