I ended up at Hoops near the Palace for the final moments of the Michigan game against Kansas.
And as I looked at the ashen faces of Michigan fans I could not help but think of the old story of Might Casey who struck out to end the game. It appeared as if the Jayhawks had Michigan’s number. Any time Michigan rallied the Jayhawks answered and pulled away.
But something strange happened to the Jayhawks march to the Elite Eight. They did not appear to be a team that wanted to end it. They got sloppy, missed free throws and Michigan players seemed to say “you don’t want it, then we will take it.” And they did.
The faces of doom wearing Michigan T-shirts and jerseys turned to glee. When Trey Burke hit that three-point basket to send the game into overtime, the fans jumped up and down like children. A funeral for a friend turned into fun time.
The best part of that three was not the ball going through the hoop but The Monster Mitch McGary sending Kansas players toppling like bowling pins.
Michigan advanced to the Elite 8 for the first time since 1989 with a thrilling 87-85 victory over Kansas. I jokingly use 1989 because the Fab Five era didn’t happen. Remember?
Michigan trailed by 15 points with under seven minutes remaining and five points with about 23 seconds remaining. Here is the funny part. I checked my twitter feed this morning. Michigan fans were killing Burke and his teammates. They said they were bums. They should stay in school. John Beilein was a bad coach and Michigan was not a good team.
Then after Burke hit the shot they turned on me for picking Kansas to win. It was funny but that is the way the fan base works. I still believe Kansas is a better basketball team than Michigan. The difference is Michigan wanted it more and once the door was open the Wolverines trampled through KU’s front door and stole the furniture and jewelry.
MSU’s loss to Duke can be summed up simply. Duke has a better coach, better program and better team.