All of us Michigan fans are idiots. We spent days, if not weeks, wringing our hands, worrying that our team wouldn't make the postseason after finishing 2-7 following a 16-3 start (think about that for a moment). We were concerned about recruiting, national perception, and all of that. We said that our team wasn't focused, didn't have a real offense, and was oftentimes ill prepared.
Well, it was all for nothing. (Kind of like football season. I mean, all of us "negative" types were proved wrong, again, this past year, as Lloyd Carr took the team to yet another bowl game and assembled yet another top-notch recruiting class that is surely gonna win a national title. Right? RIGHT?) Not only is Michigan playing in a certain postseason basketball tournament, but it got a #1 seed! You can't ask for more than that. And if you read The New York Times, you know that the athletic director, Bill Martin, doesn't.
Yes, I am pleased to announce that Michigan will be dancing this March--in the NIT! Before you get all dismissive because the NIT is something that most people don't care about and winning it is sort of like making out with a sibling and watching is has to happen as you avoid women's games like Middle Tennessee State vs. Jacksonville, just remember that it is probably the second-most important postseason tournament in college basketball. You wouldn't be upset if your football team went to the second-most important bowl game (you know, the Capitol One).
I would imagine that some segment of the Michigan population will be dissatisfied with the NIT berth and #1 seed. This group will say things like "Michigan needs to be in the NCAA Tournament if it wants to be relevant." But these are also the same people who would demand that the team be prepared in crunch time; who would demand that the team cut down on turnovers; who would demand that the team run a coherent offensive system; who would demand that the players make an effort on the defensive end more often than not; who would demand that the program find 12 players who are actually good enough to play in the Big Ten; who would demand that our coach display some intensity; who would demand that the players improve from year to year.
I know, I know. Trust me, I'm with you--these people are ridiculous! I mean, just look at how many D1 college basketball teams there are. Most of them will NOT be in the NIT. I say that all these malcontents who want Michigan to not merely be something close to competent but actually want the program to be of national significance need to stop holding Tommy Amaker and the program to such unrealistic standards. I mean, they've read what the athletic director has said, right?
I'm just glad that Tommy isn't going anywhere for a long, long, looooong time.
He went to Duke, you know.