And of course, I mean that there is nothing like a synthetic accomplishment.
Michigan beat Miami (FL) 71-65 on Wednesday night, earning a trip to the NIT semifinals, traditionally a college-basketball proving ground for teams that are, annually, at least among the top 80 if not top 70 or even top 69. Not too shabby, huh? Purdue, Northwestern, Penn State, and Minnesota can't say that.
Even better, though, consider the impressive streaks that Michigan is now putting together: The Wolverines are 16-0 all time in home NIT games; Michigan has the nation's longest postseason win streak, eight games, and it didn't even have to play last year to extend it; in two of the past three years, Michigan's basketball season has extended longer into the spring than Michigan State's; and Michigan has now definitively proven that it really was better than the only two legitimate non-conference teams that it beat. Don't front on this movement! It's like Dip Set, only with an NIT-padded twenty-win season.
So now, Michigan will square off against Old Dominion next Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden. When the Wolverines next take the floor, the game will feature a match-up of two fifth-year coaches. One will have guided his team to twenty-eight wins and an NCAA Tournament berth last season. The other will be Duke Graduate Tommy Amaker. As Dick Vitale would excitedly wonder:
"ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?! HELLO AMERICA! OHHHHH, BABY, IT'S THE WOLVERINES AND THE MONARCHS! Hey, let me tell you something: I truly believe that these are two of the rising stars in k-oaching today. Ath-a-letically, Michigan may have an edge, BUT DON'T COUNT OUT THE MONARCHS, BABY! NOT WHEN YOU'RE TALKING BLAINE TAYLOR AND TOMMY AMAKER. OH, WOW, and what a wonderful job K-oach K does down in Durham. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?! The guy is like the King Midas of k-oaching; all of his assistants are gold, baby! Mr. Brey, and Mr. Amaker, and Mr. Quinn--look at that hair! I want that hair! Wow, wow, these guys are the future of k-oaching in America, and I salute Coach K and his Dukies!"