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Friday, January 27, 2006

Just like bizarro-world football, a Michigan victory over favored Michigan State has caused the loser's crochety old coach to mutter darkly about the refereeing:

"I want to figure out what word I can use," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said, and then he paused.

"I did not like the way it was called," he said. "It didn't cost us the game. We had some guys have tough games. But the fouls got us in trouble. We were very much out of synch with the guys in foul trouble."
I'm on record as agreeing with him, but it might be useful knowledge to have the next time you're at McDonalds and the guy watching the playland starts talking about what a poor sport Lloyd Carr is. I've got no sympathy whatsoever for the Spartans after the Desmond Howard trip and the Spartan Bob fiasco. In fact, I've been dining on delicious schadenfreude over at the RCMB. Try posting "they deserved better" in one of the dozens of threads dedicated to high-minded discourse on how Phil Bova, Zelton Steed, and that other guy should be drawn and quartered.

As expected, there is much joy from the Wolverine blogosphere. Johnny at RBUAS clearly doesn't know how to handle this, titling one post "The New Football" and discoursing as follows:
I could scour ever alcove of my subconscious and I don’t think I’d find an instance where I watched a good Michigan basketball team. It’s not that I deny one ever existed – I’ve seen good ones on highlight reels and VHS recordings and ESPN Classic – but I’ve never prepared to watch a Michigan basketball game with the thought that I’d be witnessing a good team.
Football is the new, old, and forever football, but hell, let's not rain on his parade. Johnny also has a brief post on the Hunter three that's lyrical in nature.

ParadigmBlog ran some game notes, including this one I noticed myself:
Tim McCormick, I know you played here. Sometimes you bring your A-game. Today unfortunately, you've brought your C (as in Courtney) game. Who cares if Petway dunks and ignites the crowd 1.9 fucking seconds before the half. They'll have 20 minutes to chill out. Halftime has a funny way of killing crowd momentum.
McCormick seems like a good guy, but lord he was grating on Wednesday. He spent most of the first half playing up various guys as future NBA players and hardly mentioned the game taking place in front of him at all. I hate it when it seems like the announcers decided what they were going to say before the game no matter what is actually taking place in front of their eyes. McCormick said a lot of stuff that made no sense.

Meanwhile, Yost Built has plans for tonight's hockey game against State:
the best part of all this? Friday night I’ll be in East Lansing for the hockey game. There will be no comments about basketball directed toward me, and if the Wolverines win, the “Just like football” chant can be amended to “Just like basketball”. Gotta love it.
They'll have to play much, much better to generate that "just like basketball" cheer, but it would be sweet.

Non-affiliated Big Ten Wonk is happy for purely selfish reasons: it now looks like the Big Ten is headed for seven NCAA bids as long as no one collapses down the stretch. Previously espousing a theory that Michigan would be back when you could complete the sentence "Michigan, as expected, ______" with something non-pejorative, he offers a candidate:
We may now have a nominee for the blank. How about: "Michigan, as expected, got meaningful production from Daniel Horton at the free throw line." Last night Horton, who hits 90.6 percent of his freebies, scored 23 points on 8-of-8 shooting at the line, making him 18-for-18 over the last two games. Horton made the difference on a night when the Wolverines were without both Lester Abram (sprained ankle) and, in effect, Courtney Sims (17 minutes, four points, three boards).
Pat Forde signs off on the post-game rushing of the court. We get an exemption for ending "extreme and elongated futility against an arch rival."

File this under 'ploy': 2006 combo guard Eric Beverly really wants to go to Illinois, but they haven't offered. Now his coach is pissed:
llinois lost out on the state's top unsigned recruit Wednesday, according to his coach, Marshall's Lamont Bryant, who said Patrick Beverley had dropped the Illini from his final list of schools.

"I'm not happy with the way Illinois has been recruiting him," Bryant said of his star player. "I met with Patrick earlier in the week, and he is going to choose from among the schools who have made offers."
The article is interesting, as Beverly's coach comes off a little overbearing. Check this quote of extreme creepiness:
"Did Illinois take that long to make offers to other recruits?" Bryant said. "You can tell coach Weber we are no longer interested in Illinois."
Um... okie dokie then.

Dammit, Jason. Avant--attending the Senior Bowl--was recently featured in the Best ESPN Chat Ever. I will get out of the way and highlight.
Matt : TH: You stay in contact with Braylon Edwards anymore?

SportsNation Jason Avant: Yeah, I talk to him every now and again. He's rehabbing and doing just fine. He should have a very productive year. He's still wearing pink shirts.
Adam (WI): Did you mean the second best school in the big ten Behind the Badgers??

SportsNation Jason Avant: The who?
Jim (MI): What will be the first thing you buy after you are drafted?

SportsNation Jason Avant: I don't plan on buying anything. I'm going ot keep my 2001 Cavalier with a dent in the side for a couple more years.
Adam PA: Excuse me I seem to remember the Penn State was the one in the Orange bowl?

SportsNation Jason Avant: Once in 10 years. That's great.
Russell (Loras, Dubuque): Have you and Steve Breaston ever gone one-on-one and see if you could cover each other?

SportsNation Jason Avant: Ah yes. We do that all the time. I win EVERY time. Seriously. EVERY time. We go best of five. He hasn't won a series on me yet.
BK-The Burger King: What do you think of my amazing commercials? Do you think you could cover me? Or could I cover you?

SportsNation Jason Avant: You're too good! I can't cover you! You move like lightning!

Thanks for the questions. Nick Mangold sucks. But he's next up.
Best. Ever. Bleed Blue 'n' White is very excited about the last revelation, hailing it as the key to beating Michigan.

Etc: An interview with ESPN's ombud George Solomon; Dr. Z's NFL announcer grades; BC&RS finds out about "the milk thing"; the Sunbelt feebly attempts to convince the nation that they don't suck eight ways from Sunday.