What's that line in the movie Tin Cup? Molly Tells Roy, "No one's going to remember who won or who lost, but they'll remember your 12!"
Michigan's loss on Monday felt a bit like that. There was so much positive buzz around Michigan just being there that Louisville's victory (a well-deserved one, no less) almost felt like the side story. So much happened, CBS Sports announced that the championship game had its highest ratings in 19 years, and it should be a point of pride that Michigan had a hand in both that popularity and the start of an exciting time for its varsity sports. Sarah Hughes writes that Michigan is definitely back in more than just basketball, but what I'm going to remember is Michigan was on the national stage with a chance to win a championship, and did it with class.
That was the best basketball game I've ever watched, and it gave validity to the thought that Michigan was the true darling of the NCAA tournament this year. Crazier still, the darling of the sports world even in defeat. Hats off to Louisville, but Michigan deserves to take a big bow.
Your week in review:
Spike Albrecht Became A Legend In One Half. And afterward, tried to sweet-talk Kate Upton. He stands at 36,524 Twitter followers, more than Mike Hart and Mitch McGary. He trended worldwide on Twitter for the first half of the basketball game, and Albrecht got the loudest cheer from fans at Crisler Center when the team returned to Ann Arbor. Trey Burke may be the player of the year but Spike is the new cult figure with no Denard Robinson on campus. His tweet to Kate Upton at last check was at 13,385 retweets.
Denard Robinson Reminded Us All Why He Plays Football. He runs fast, beats Notre Dame in the final minute of games, but don't count on him to pitch for your team. We thank you, Denard, for choosing to play football for Michigan. Robinson may have one-hopped a pitch to home plate, but he's a quarterback, folks, not Justin Verlander. Think of it this way, if he'd thrown a 70 mph fastball, we'd all be suffering though "Can Denard Be a Pitcher?" stories.
Even Mark May Was Retroactively Thinking About Michigan! Thursday night was handed a gift when various sports people began recounting Mark May's largely incoherent twitter ramblings, including this gem:
Michigan QB Denard Robinson will be the starter in the opener vs. UCONN— Mark May (@mark_may) August 20, 2010
Still on the Denard Robinson badwagon today— Mark May (@mark_may) October 9, 2010
Hey, Michigan was the talk of the country this week so why not get in on the action in some form, right? Feeling really good about Michigan's chances versus UConn, too, Mark.
The Fab Five Semi-Reunited. I didn't think they would show, but Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson, and Juwan Howard were in the house to be a part of Michigan's night. Yes, Chris Webber was high above in a suite, but all those guys next to each other taught me the scale of what this year's Michigan team accomplished. As the basketball program builds on this success, it can't truly emerge from the dark place it once was until those giants embrace the current stars. Never mind the fact they were sitting only a few rows above University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman, the hysteria in the crowd showed me that Michigan wants to remember them when the time is right.
To That End, Chris Webber Showed Some Class. I'm treading on sensitive ground here, but it speaks volumes about how large this championship game was when mister controversy himself can swallow whatever guilt and sorrow he may have to at least acknowledge Michigan's resurgence. It didn't become a huge story, but it can be seen as a small point of pride that Webber at least cares about his former home.
Michigan Football's Spring Game Took Place, Yet We're Still Talking About Basketball. The spring game was on Saturday, and I don't think anyone noticed. Honestly I wouldn't have been upset if they called it off to prevent more injuries to critical players. It was largely ceremonial but Devin Gardner threw the ball and the defense ran around real fast. Still, that'll show me for thinking I'd never say "I can't wait for basketball season." Well played, Michigan, well played. Slipped that spring game in there so we wouldn't watch too closely, I see.
Michigan Cheerleading (!) Won A Championship. The best damn cheer team in the land avenged a runner-up finish last year with a title this week. The team would have been a lock to win had they just brought Spike Albrecht with them, but working "The Victors" into dance routines (I don't know if they actually do this) seems impossible to vote against. (link)
Despite the outcome on Monday, it's a strange sensation to be mostly OK with that loss. I think we all can see what the basketball program has up its sleeve, and I'm still smiling.
This was me after Michigan made it to the final four:
And after Michigan lost to Louisville:
I can't wait for basketball season...after football season.