NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16: Walter Offutt #3 and Ricardo Johnson #20 of the Ohio Bobcats celebrate after defeating the Michigan Wolverines during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Friday afternoon wasn't much fun for any high seed. Michigan lost to Ohio in a game that was generally uncompetitive for long stretches and seriously casts doubt on whether Michigan can make "Beat Ohio" jokes with a straight face anymore. Duke dropped a game against Lehigh and Missouri lost to Norfolk State marking just the fifth and sixth 15 over 2 upsets in the history of the tournament happening within hours of each other.
That's the nature of the beast. Anything can happen at any time.
On to the reactions:
How upset you should be after this is a product of your pre-conceived notions of Michigan's abilities relative to college basketball as a whole, the somewhat distorting effect of a shared conference title, and most importantly, to what extent you think Michigan "overachieved."
Such is the beast of March Madness. So rarely do the cameras effectively capture the painful images of those who don’t make it to the end of the month. The chances of any one team surviving to that point are absurdly marginal, yet they all hang their hopes on making it because believing otherwise would be sacrilege. For 67 programs, March is the cruelest month of the year.
The NCAA tournament is a fragile yet unforgiving contest of absolutes. The finality of the tournament is a far cry from the college basketball regular season which is a battle of attrition, consistency and steadfastness over more than 30 games. One bad performance during the regular season is a bump in the road, one bad performance in March is enough to end seasons and careers. Michigan’s season, one defined by winning close games in a dramatic fashion, came to an abrupt finish in Nashville as the Wolverines fell upset victims to the No. 13 seeded Ohio Bobcats.
Also, check out Maize n Brew's own Alex Cook's post game piece here.
Also in basketball, UMHoops breaks down Five Key Plays and asks for support. Bloggers aren't rich, folks. Dylan and the rest of the clan over there at UMHoops do a great job, and if you can support them in any way I urge you to do so.
The real concern is in the middle, where the team appears to really be counting on Campbell to make an impact. Only, he never has, despite being given ample opportunity to do so. Hoke is optimistic, but Black's move inside shows concern is high at tackle.
"I think social media happened so quickly, and the NCAA is trying to get its head around all that stuff," Hoke told AnnArbor.com last week. "We just need to keep educating our players. We’ll meet at 4 o'clock (last Tuesday) and I’ll mention what they put out there and what they say. "But there's no question something needs to happen."
Hoke = Gets It.