Tom Crean has developed a reputation for poor sportsmanship. After his team captured the Big Ten Championship at the Crisler Center earlier this month, Crean and Michigan assistant coach Jeff Meyer engaged in an argument after shaking hands. The dust up centered on Crean’s allegation that Meyer, who was an assistant coach during Kelvin Sampson’s scandal plagued tenure with Indiana, helped wreck the program.
Anyways, Crean’s team got thrashed by Syracuse in Washington last night. Indiana’s coach, a brother in-law of the Harbaugh bros, chose to breeze by Jim Boeheim with a quick shake and head for the exits during the post game handshakes. Classy.
Crean does shake Boeheim’s hand, albeit for .0003 seconds before heading out. He has a history.
After a Saturday filled with routs and predictability for the most part, Sunday’s slate of third round games opened with Ohio State and Iowa State finally delivering the game of the tournament thus far, with Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft giving us the closest thing we’ve had to a game winning buzzer-beater through four days.
The forgotten man of Michigan’s freshmen triumvirate was the catalyst in what quickly became a rout at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Mitch McGary’s path to the spotlight is a familiar one for anyone who has watched Hoosiers. While that statement is a generalization annoyingly applied to Caucasian basketball players from Indiana, that’s not what I meant. I also hated that movie. After spending the majority of the regular season as the sixth man, the 20-year-old from Porter drew a surprise start against South Dakota State. It was well deserved. McGary finished the opener with 13 points and nine rebounds, helping Michigan advance despite a quiet day from star Point Guard Trey Burke.
For the next three weeks, let’s forget about all that is wrong with sports, and more specifically college sports. Put on hold the complaints about the exploitation of student athletes, the arbitrary rulings of the NCAA hierarchy and the culture that promotes athletic achievement over scholastic success. Ignore the tendencies we have to celebrate young men as heroes only to spit them out later as villainous scapegoats. Instead, embrace the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for what it is: the most exciting and dramatic multi-game sporting event in the United States.
March Madness is everything that spectators want sports to be. Upsets, buzzer beaters, foul trouble, swagger and posture. The heart-beating blindness of anticipation. The vicarious elation of triumph. The devastating free fall of defeat. And these are just the qualities that we’ve come to expect. Despite being an annual event with a finite number of potential outcomes, every year the tournament brings with it a fantastic share of surprises.
It’s immense. And it all begins on Tuesday (or Thursday, depending on how you look at it). Here, for your edification, is everything you need to know about the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Michigan Wolverines are likely headed for a 2 or 3-seed in the NCAA tournament. Their starting small forward is Nik Stauskas, a native of Etobicoke, Ontario. He was kind enough to give us a few minutes of his time… Read the rest of this entry »