This 68-63 win was great for Michigan’s basketball program, no doubt. Any time you beat a ranked opponent when your team is not, it’s great. It wasn’t pretty (Michigan shot just 37%) and it took about 35 minutes to play the final minute because Michigan kept fouling UConn and UConn kept fouling Michigan, but all and all, it was a win worthy of freakishly sending out texts to your buddies about.
But was this the kind of win that called for a mosh pit in the middle of the court after the final buzzer?
I’ll answer my own question with an emphatic, “No.”
The win improves Michigan to 10-7, not good, but not far off from the team they just beat (11-6). I realize UConn was ranked, 15th, and four of their losses were at the expense of ranked teams, but this wasn’t a far superior team that Michigan played today. Further, Michigan is playing very well right now, while UConn has now lost three straight. You don’t storm the court when you beat a team not far from being your equal unless it’s your bitter rival or a championship game. Michigan and UConn are not bitter rivals, like Michigan State or Ohio State,* and this was not a championship game.
Michigan students can enjoy the big win without rushing the floor. By storming the court, they admitted the team’s inferiority and that’s simply a false admission. And you know what told me that it was the wrong decision? The Michigan players were surprised. They were leisurely walking off the floor when they were suddenly being pushed around by a flood of maize n’ blue undergrads. Michigan was not a team ready to overtly celebrate beating the Huskies. They were a team walking off the court as if they just beat a team they fully expected, and should have, beaten. Michigan fans at Crisler today cancelled out that swagger in my opinion.
* Michigan has only played UConn three times in the history of the two programs. NOT a rival.