Monday, January 18, 2010

A brief basketball note

I'm not a huge basketball fan, but I do enjoy the occasional University of Michigan game. This was the case on Sunday when I watched Michigan beat the University of Connecticut. It was a very good game and an important win for U of M.


After the game was over, University of Michigan fans rushed the court to celebrate. This is embarrassing. The University of Michigan is not some small town university that just pulled of a once in a lifetime upset. We are large university that has no excuse for not being at least a minor contender in any major sport year in and year out.* That the basketball program has suffered as it has over the last decade is shameful.

UConn was ranked 15th. 15th! The University of Michigan itself was ranked that highly earlier this year. This is a Michigan team that is viewed to be underachieving! We made the second round of the NCAA tournament last year! More was expected this year. This wasn't some scrappy underdog rising up to take down an elite, once-in-a-lifetime, superstar team. It wasn't even a program in an off year beating a hated rival. It was a non-conference game at home against a good quality opponent. We should expect to beat a team like UConn. Indeed, here is the AP's first sentence in their writeup (emphasis added):
Michigan looked like the team it expected to be while No. 15 Connecticut struggled -- again.
Rushing the court sends the message that you viewed your team as massively inferior to the team you just beat. It says that you view the victory as one of the greatest victories in school history. It is something that should be reserved for wins that define an entire program, not wins that ought to be a matter of course for a team that should be in the NCAA tournament more often than not.

I sincerely hope that Michigan fans, especially the student fans, will learn how to behave as if they root for a team that aspires to be "the leaders and best," not just a bloated, underachieving, has-been in college basketball.

* Here pause and weep for the football program.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Wow. I missed it. Dad and I watched the game until there was only about five seconds left. We got tired of waiting for all the free throws and the immediate fouls after them. Dad channel surfed a few minutes, noticed on another channel that the final score was posted, and then we put on what I was interested in: Season Five of Lost.

I agree. Rushing onto the court after a win does indeed match the assessment that a huge win was accomplished by an underdog.