The Michigan Wolverines must be selected to play in the NCAA men's basketball field of 65 next Sunday.
Today, they finished their regular season with a win on the road against Minnesota, 67-64, to bring their record to 19-12 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten.
The Big Blue aren't a great team; they don't even match up with the top of their conference. But they've played the 11th-toughest schedule in the country and beaten two top-five teams on the way (UCLA, Duke). Nine of their 12 losses have come against teams inside the RPI's top 40, including four to teams in the RPI's top six (Duke, UConn, Michigan State twice).
Their resume is solid. Sure, they're only 3-8 on the road, but they also played Duke, UConn, Maryland, Purdue, Michigan State, and Illinois all on the road. You can't expect any team to play through a schedule like that and come out with a winning record.
And it's not like I'm begging for the selection committee to put UM in a top seed. I'm only asking for an invite. Let us dance.
The players need it. The coaches need it. The program needs it. Most of all, the Michigan fanbase needs it. The last time they played in the tournament was in 2001. It would be great for the league as a whole if Michigan basketball mattered again. I know that this season, it has mattered to me. I love watching Stu Douglass and his teardrop threes; DeShawn Sims and his powerful slams; Manny Harris and his slick dribble-and-finish skills. Coach John Belein is already proving his worth in his second year at the helm.
Right now, every expert and analyst has them right on the bubble. Nope. That's not going to cut it. The Wolverines have earned it. The selection committee has screwed this team more than once this decade, but it can't happen this time. Their talent is for real.
I just wanna dance. Is that too much to ask?
*Random sidenote* What the hell Red Wings? Cut this Saturday slump crap out right now. Eight goals to the Blue Jackets? Really? Thanks Chris Osgood...way to make me look like a jackass.