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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Hail To The Victors!


You can officially welcome the University of Michigan Men's Basketball team back to the collegiate basketball scene. The Wolverines beat the Spartans 72-67, for just the 2nd time in the last 14 meetings. The win, at Crisler Arena, bumped Michigan's record to an impressive 14-3 (4-2 in the Big 10), while Michigan State drops to 15-5 (3-3 in the Big 10).

This is a huge win for the Wolverines, and it comes on the heels of a 71-55 victory at Minnesota; their first win at Williams Arena since 1993. The win over the Spartans is also their first win over a ranked team in over 2 years, when they beat Iowa 65-63 on Jan 5, 2004.

Daniel Horton led the charge to choke out the Spartans with 23 points on offense, and played suffocating defense. Chris Hunter added 13 points off the bench, all of them coming in the second half.

State opened up a 28-15 point lead in the first half, and looked like they were going to cruise to another victory over Michigan. The Wolverines came roaring back to take a 48-45 lead on a Hunter 3-pointer, a lead which they would never relinquish.

The turning point came with about 12 minutes left in the 2nd half, when Paul Davis had an open look at a 3, and airballed it. Being psychology weak, Davis couldn't handle the fans and went inside a shell, doing nothing for the rest of the game.

Another key moment was when State had a breakaway, and Maurice Ager threw down a nasty alley-oop. As he was celebrating, my boy Brent Petway, AKA "Air Georgia" took offense to this, and responded by throwing a forearm shiver to Agers nose. Luckily, no technical foul was called, and Ager was humbled by a much bigger, much sweeter Petway.

With 22 seconds to play, Sparty found themselves down by 3 with a chance to tie. Davis had a good look - and preditably bricked - but the rebound came back to him. He dished it to Maurice Ager, who canned a 3, however Izzo had called a timeout while the ball was in his hands, and the basket didn't count. Michigan sank 2 free throws to ice the game.

Noobsports reader J-Strick from Grand Rapids puts it best: "bomp, bomp, bomp-bomp-bomp, another loss for M-S-UUUUUUUUU."

This is great news for University of Michigan basketball fans, as it's been a pretty rough go as of late. Amaker came in and was supposed to be the savior of a program in turmoil. Known for being an excellent recruiter and a great coach, he has been dissapointing to say the least. After not seeing results for a few years, he got Mgoblue.com/mbball back into the pseudo-spotlight by winning the NIT and becoming the 66th best team in the country in 2004. Last year hopes were high as Michigan had a strong returning core, but the loss of Bernard "I'm one of the ugliest men alive" Robinson JR. was too much to handle, as they failed to even make the NIT.

This year, people didn't know what to think... we had our entire team back minus J. C. Mathis and Hayes Grooms, obviously two outstanding players. Optimists like myself thought we had a good chance to compete, maybe sneak into the big dance, while the majority felt that we would be lucky to finish above .500. Not too many people predicted that we would be 14-3 through the first 17 games of the season and looking sharp.

Michigan has done a good job taking care of business this year, especially against teams they should beat. Their only three losses come to respectable teams, all of whom are ranked in the top 25 (UCLA (17), Indiana (13), and Illinois (8)).

I have to say that I'm proud of the way the Maize and Blue are playing, and Amaker seems to have his act together. Michigan is finally getting some love from the national media as well. Yesterday, during halftime of the Kentucky/Auburn game, Digger Phelps picked Michigan as his sleeper team to make it to the Final 4. That may have been a kiss of death, but it shows that Michigan is getting respect. Regardless, it's nice to see Michigan Hoop back on the map.

-SEL

It's Great
To Be
A Michigan Wolverine...

It's Great
To Be
A Michigan Wolverine...

-JD

All right, Michigan! You are better than State. 2 out of 14!! Whoo Hoo!!! By that math, the Spartans own the Wolverines in football, but I'm sure when football season rolls around, we'll have a whole new set of rationales ready to go for those dirty Spartan fans. Good thing the refs finally called a game properly and gave UM their birthright of a 3-1 advantage in free throws.

I've got $20 that says that last comment was posted by Travis T...

nope, it was Randall. But if there's one thing I've learned about betting Mo's is they don't pay up. Maybe it's just Drew. Keep the twenty.

Travis sounds bright, though.

Daniel horton was the reason michigan won. He had a great game featuring 23 points 5 assists 4 rebounds and 3 beaten women.... keep the domestic abuse jokes coming please

here i am nate. i have no need to hide my love for state by posting anonymous.

1 - the refs were simply horrible. that obviously applies to both sides, but i feel state really got the long end of the shaft because of the phantom calls that put our big men in foul trouble early. once paul 'please stop referring to him as bunyon' davis is out, our half court offense is below average.

2 - as good as i think state is, i never expect them to win away from the breslin...so this was no big shock. granted, after watching the game i feel they should have come out on top, but the wolverines will get their comeuppance on feb 18.

3 - steve, if michigan makes the final four (not the nit final four) i will fellate the entire noobsports.com family.

now will someone please write another article so when i check noobsports.com i don't have the look at that giant damn m logo. if you guys start playing the fight song on this site i'm going to personlly make sure something terrible happens to all parties involved.

Here is the thing before Wednesday there were not more than 10 Michigan BBall fans in the whole world now they win against State one time, they win a big game for the first time since God knows when and now every person in the known world is a Michigan basketball fan. It just seems like the number of Michigna Bball fans grew infinatley at about 10:30 Wednesday night, can we say fairweather.

I did watch the game on Tuesday and before that, I did know that U of M had some sort of team that played a sport other than football and could even name a couple of those tall skinny black guys. So there are a few of us that had been paying attention during what seemed like infinite mediocrity. Judging by the crowd that had Crisler rocking for the Spartans (finally some noise in there) a lot of the fan base had already remembered the basketball team's existance before the game also.

It's impossible to avoid fans being fairweather at least to some extent. If asked, I would say I am a Lions fan, but I certainly don't torture myself by investing much emotion and I still can chuckle at their suckitude while wishing it could just end. It would have been nice if the Michigan fans had been out in force through the sucky period to be part of what lifted the team back to this point, but that usually works the other way around. Now that the team is somewhat back, it's a little more fun to take notice.

Now find someone who has bought both a UM football jersey and an MSU basketball jersey in the last 5-10 years and there is a real sell-out bandwagon jumper.

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