By: Dennis Fithian
Maybe it will all go Michigan’s way this weekend. A couple wins and everybody will agree that this season has been a success. That success would be different than how things have unfolded on the hardwood to this point for the Wolverines. It starts in October but only really matters in March. That’s the way college basketball has been in most of our lifetimes. For Michigan basketball fans it’s been about a lifetime since they have been in the position they are this evening against Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen.
Win two games this weekend and get to the Final Four in Atlanta and the season is an unquestioned success. Beat the Jayhawks tonight and get to the Elite Eight on Easter Sunday? Only die hard Wolverine skeptics (haters) would spin the season as a disappointment.
What about losing a close one down in Dallas? Like having a Trey Burke three pointer ‘rim out’ late after rallying back from a huge deficit. Or being up three points late and not guarding the in bounder or not fouling only to see a miracle shot send the game to overtime where you eventually lose. Maybe miss some free throws late to go with a near tip in at the buzzer. This is how it has been for UM this year. It doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s going to go this weekend. That’s just how it looks and feels.
Give Michigan some credit for winning two games and putting themselves in the position they are tonight. But if the Wolverines want a stamp of approval from the college basketball world they’ll need to win tonight and of course Sunday to erase all doubters.
Prediction: Kansas 70 Michigan 67