In early February, back before college basketball turned to madness, back when there was some sense in the world and people thought the Big 10 and Big East were by far the best two conferences in college basketball, I was relaxing on the couch in Crested Butte and I caught a college game day. These were the days when the on-air personalities would ask questions like "how many teams from the Big 10 and Big East will make the final 4? Will they take up all 4 spots, or will there be an upset and they'll only have 3?"
Anyway, as has been the trend for ESPN and it's shows, they've gone away from reporting sports news and the games in favor of made up discussions and arguments. Whatever will cause friction on the show, upset people watching at home, or whoever can make the boldest and most outlandish claims apparently makes for better television than reporting what is actually happening.
Well, I caught an episode of "College Gameday", and their question was "who is the sleeper team to make the final 4?" Watching from home, my answer was George Mason, but everybody laughed at me. When Digger Phelps came around, he said that his sleeper team for the final 4 was the University of Michigan. Hell yes Digger! Besides the fact that they haven't made the big dance for the last 8 years, and they have the most apathetic coach in the history of sports, Digger and his tie-lighter picked them to finish in the final four.
Well, Mr. Phelps, you're an idiot, Michigan didn't even make the big...
Wait, what? Michigan is in the final 4 of the NIT? Oh Digger you sly dog. They didn't specify WHICH final 4 they were asking about, so you gave them an honest answer and turned out to be correct. An idiot savant.
That's right folks, Mgoblue.com/mbball rolled into the final 4 of the NIT tournament and promptly dismantled Old Dominion, beating them by 23 points in the Garden. After the game, I was thinking about rescinding my application that I had already sent in to Old Dominions grad. school, and was on the verge of doing it, until Nate reminded me that probable Cy Young winner Justin Verlander attended school there. And the slate is wiped clean.
Anyway, Meechigan is now in the finals and plays South Carolina for the championship. I love that Tommy Amaker has come in and made Michigan an NIT Dynasty. They won the NIT 2 years ago, last year they made it to the final 4 of the pre-season NIT, and they're in the finals of the NIT again this year. Just excellent work overall Mr. Amaker. Now if you could just get them to play hard during the end of the season and in the Big 10 tournament next year, maybe you can make it to the big dance and not fight for the title of who is the 66th best team in the country.
Oh yeah, South Carolina, if you recall, won the NIT last year, and are sure to defend their title with passion. This years matchup puts the '04 winner against the '05 winner, in a battle that will finally settle the long-time argument: Who is king of the NIT... Dave Odom or Tommy Amaker?