- It’s pretty obvious that Michigan’s weekly injury reports are not completely accurate in the sense that every injured player is accounted for. I say that because this week only two players — David Molk and Zac Johnson (both ruled out) — are listed on it. That isn’t accurate because Carlos Brown is injured and his status for Saturday is up in the air. It has been reported by mgoblog that Brown suffered a concussion during a drill in practice earlier this week, meaning he probably won’t play against Iowa. Just like how Tate Forcier was left off the injury report last week, my guess is that Rich Rodriguez doesn’t want Brown’s specific injury to get out in case he does play or just so future opponents are left in the dark.
- This week’s captains are Tim McAvoy, David Moosman, Tim North, and Stevie Brown.
- The weather for tomorrow night’s game doesn’t sound like much fun.
- Brandon Graham’s ferocious hit on Glenn Winston from last Saturday has been uploaded to YouTube by mgoblog. All I can say is that Winston now knows what it feels like to be assaulted.
- Punter Will Hagerup, a Michigan commit, has been named a U.S. Army All-American.
- The rink configuration for the 2010 Frozen Four at Ford Field has been changed, moving the ice from the middle of the field to one end zone. The new setup is like how basketball Final Four and regional sites did it up until recently, putting the court in an end zone and curtaining off the rest of the stadium. The reason for the change is because organizers realized that they weren’t going to fill up all of Ford Field, and making the change means they only need to sell a total 36,000 seats, 22,000 of which have already been accounted for.
- A new hockey student section group is going to help organize road trips, which I very much welcome. As someone who doesn’t have a car on campus, I really don’t have a convenient way to travel to away hockey games. Even then I would only want to drive to a few games, which is why going on organized road trips to various opponents’ venues sounds fun.
- Following up on yesterday’s mention of NCAA Basketball 10’s presentation, it turns out there will be multiple broadcast teams in the game this year. For games during the week and for specific tournaments, you will get ESPN’s graphics and broadcasters, and for weekend, NCAA tournament, and other high-profile games, you will get CBS’s graphics and broadcast team. The gameplay will ultimately make or break the game (I’ve never been a fan of EA’s basketball games) for me, but the presentation upgrades are tough to ignore. Making it feel like you’re watching a real game is just awesome, especially when there is more than one “channel’ in the game.
- I was very disappointed with how Michigan’s season ended back on Friday night, but with the Frozen Four now set, I don’t feel nearly as bad about the Air Force game. Obviously it sucks that Michigan lost, but that upset was only the tip of the iceberg of what happened over the weekend. Three No. 1 seeds were eliminated in the opening round, and Boston had to score a goal with 14.4 seconds left to get past New Hampshire and advance to the Frozen Four.
The Frozen Four is comprised of Boston (the only remaining No. 1 seed), Vermont (3 seed), Miami (4 seed), and Bemidji State (4 seed). The amount of upsets that produced this Frozen Four is truly unbelievable, but the games weren’t exciting just because they were upsets.
One game featured Minnesota-Duluth scoring two goals in the last 40 seconds to go to overtime, where it would later beat Princeton. The game-tying goal was scored with eight-tenths of a second left. Similarly, New Hampshire scored a goal with one-tenth of a second left to tie North Dakota in its opening-round game. It only took UNH 45 seconds to score in OT, unlike the Air Force-Vermont game. With the Frozen Four on the line, Vermont beat Air Force in double-overtime minutes after it actually scored the game-winning goal. The puck went through the net, and the play wasn’t reviewed until there was a stoppage. Play continued after the goal was scored, as it wasn’t actually a goal at the time. It was a strange finish, to say the least.
- Carlos Brown is injured again. Thankfully it is only a slight concussion and he is expected to return to practice on Tuesday, but man, can’t he get through a few weeks without having an injury just once in his career?
- Tate Forcier seems to be struggling with fumbles.
- Michigan is going to honor the 10 coaches and players that were part of this year’s Super Bowl at the Spring Game. LaMarr Woodley and Larry Foote have confirmed that they will be at the game, mainly because they are already in Ann Arbor working out.
- If anyone doesn’t think Rich Rodriguez gets the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, take a look at this picture:
- Michigan swimmer Tyler Clary won two national titles over the weekend.
- Al Montoya was called up to the Coyotes last week.
- I agree with Brian of Genuinely Sarcastic, it doesn’t make sense to root for Michigan State because of the Big 10. Like Brian, I have rooted against MSU in every game of the tournament and will root against them again on Saturday (and a week from today if they advance to the title game). It’s bad enough that MSU made it to the Final Four, but the fact that they will get to play in Detroit makes it all the worse for Michigan fans. Not only do we get to hear about the MSU-Detroit storyline all week, but this is only going to make recruiting against MSU in the state of Michigan even tougher.
What they accomplished is great for them, but I couldn’t care less about the perception of the Big Ten. MSU making it to the Final Four in Detroit only makes it tougher for Michigan to build up its program. Plus, no Michigan fan should ever root for MSU to succeed unless something positive happens to Michigan as a result (for example, a win sends U-M to the Rose Bowl like Iowa did when they beat Wisconsin back in the 2004-05 season).
- The Michigan Daily is reporting that Nick Sheridan was seen on campus yesterday walking with crutches and wearing a “large” boot. This lends credence to the rumor that he broke his leg. We will likely find out for sure today, as Rich Rodriguez is going to speak with the media prior to practice. Hopefully we will find out if David Cone is also hurt. I haven’t seen any mention of him being injured in any of the articles on this story, but I’ve had a couple different people tell me he hurt his arm. Hopefully that is just a rumor and nothing else.
- John Beilein is going to be an in-studio analyst for CBS College Sports’ coverage of the tournament today and tomorrow. That should be a good way to promote the program.
- MGoBlue has new photos of the Michigan Stadium renovation. It looks like it is coming along nicely.
- Basketball signee Matt Vogrich was recently named the top player in the state of Illinois.
- The rink at next year’s Frozen Four will be set up in the middle of Ford Field.
- The floor for this year’s Final Four made a stop in Ann Arbor yesterday.
- William Gholston, the top recruit in the state of Michigan for the class of 2010, recently attended a Michigan practice. Michigan State still appears to Gholston’s leader, but the Wolverines appear to have made up some ground on the Spartans. That may not mean a whole lot considering how big MSU’s lead appeared to be at one time, but at least he is still considering Michigan.
- Yahoo! Sports investigated the UConn basketball program and discovered that NCAA rules have been violated by the Huskies.
- I completely forgot about this at the time, but Michigan Sports Center celebrated its three-year anniversary last month.
- Michigan is going to retire Jim Abbott’s #31 jersey prior to the Michigan State baseball game on Saturday, April 18. Abbott will be honored 20 minutes before the game (starts at 1:05 p.m.).
- I am obviously getting way, way ahead of myself since this may not be relevant to Michigan (hopefully it is), but it looks like the ice for the Frozen Four is going to suck. The Verizon Center is hosting the Frozen Four this year, and the arena’s ice has been greatly criticized lately. (HT: D.C. Sports Bog)
- Apparently the NCAA wants college football to become more like the NFL in a “No Fun League” type of way. There is talk about taking points off the board if a player taunts someone before he actually crosses the goal line. Although that makes sense when you consider that the infraction happens before the touchdown is actually scored, I see a change like this simply resulting in more controversy. Celebrating and taunting are different things, but there is a fine line between the two.
I can already imagine a situation where a player is heading into the end zone for a huge touchdown and does something celebratory that is perceived as taunting. The official throws a flag, negating the touchdown, and controversy commences. I get that the NCAA wants to cut down on players taunting, but I just see this possible rule change (unlikely to be implemented if it is officially proposed for “at least two years”) as another way to give referees the chance to blow a call and help decide a game.
- The NCAA’s Double-A Zone blog recently completed something called the “Michigan Winter Sports Extravaganza” and posted a video featuring interviews with Michigan gymnast Maureen Moody and hockey player Louie Caporusso, as well as other athletes from around the state.
The puck drops at approximately 9:00 p.m. ET (the Boston College-North Dakota game is at 6:00), and you can watch both of the semifinal games on ESPN2.
- The Frozen Four will feature two CCHA teams as Michigan and Notre Dame are still standing, but Miami (Ohio) nearly was the third team from that conference to qualify for a trip to Denver. The RedHawks went to overtime for the second game in a row in yesterday’s Northeast Regional final. Unlike Saturday’s victory over Air Force, Miami was on the losing end of things this time as Boston College won 4-3 in OT. That means BC will be headed to Denver. In the national semifinals, the Golden Eagles will play North Dakota, who also got to the Frozen Four thanks to an overtime victory. The Fighting Sioux beat Wisconsin in Madison by a score of 3-2 after coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period.
- The updated bracket for the NCAA Hockey Tournament can be found here. Michigan will play Notre Dame at 9:00 p.m. ET, whereas North Dakota and Boston College will play at 6:00. Michigan won the only two meetings with the Fighting Irish this season, which hopefully is a good omen for the third game between these two teams that will happen on April 10. The first game of this series featured Michigan coming back from 2 early ND goals to win 3-2 after Louie Caporusso scored with only 20 seconds left in the third period. In complete opposite fashion, the second game in this series was a blowout as Michigan won 5-1 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
- Later this week I will put up a post with information on how to get to Denver to watch Michigan play in the Frozen Four. I know quite a few Michigan fans have already made travel plans, some even back in January (good thing everything worked out), and I imagine many will hope to make the trip to Denver.
- Shifting gears to football, Michigan hit the practice field on Saturday for a scrimmage, and apparently a ton of family members of players and coaches were in attendance. This isn’t unusual at all, but it certainly is a topic of conversation after Justin Boren threw the program under the bus last week. Rich Rodriguez was quite upset with the comments made by Boren, and had this to say in regards to them:
“I’ve been a head coach for 15 years,” Rodriguez told reporters. “I think we have as close a family unit … than anybody in the country. Always has been and always will be.”
“Family is pretty important to all of us, and every coach can tell you that,” Rodriguez said. “Just ask anybody who has played for me in the last 15 years. Don’t ask somebody that’s left with a different agenda.”
Rodriguez also said in his press conference following Saturday’s scrimmage that Boren’s comments were “ridiculous,” and I couldn’t agree more.
- The Sporting News’ Matt Hayes also agrees as he wrote an entire article about the situation, and unlike many members of the media, greatly criticized Boren for leaving in the way he did.
In the real world, we call this turnover. We have a job, we love our job and now all of a sudden we have a new boss. And the new boss is different.
Not all bosses motivate the same. Some motivate with positive reinforcement, others with fear and still others with goal-oriented benchmarks. Some use a combination of all three.
Now here’s what’s important: Nearly every new boss is not like the old boss. Boren’s comfort zone that felt so easy and so right is now gone. Of course, that comfort zone included losses to rival Ohio State in six of the last seven years.
Rodriguez was hired to win football games; it’s just that simple. He was hired to beat Ohio State — not placate 18-, 19- and 20-year-old kids who don’t like change.
Every new coach goes through this; just like every new boss goes through it. It’s a process: Weeding out those who don’t fit. Some don’t like to work hard, some are malcontents.
As I said last week, I had no problem with Boren leaving, but his comments were simply uncalled for. It was clear that he was simply trying to save face as some may have viewed him as being a quitter. In hindsight, being quiet would have brought about far less criticism. That’s for sure.
- MVictors has the audio of Rich Rodriguez’s appearance on Jim Rome’s radio show last Thursday. Rome wasn’t hosting it, but his replacements were the Sklar Brothers, who both graduated from Michigan.
- John Bacon wrote a great article for Michigan Radio about the Ann Arbor News’ look at Michigan athletes and academics.
- Professor John Hagen, who was the focus of the first part of the Ann Arbor News’ four-day series looking into Michigan athletes and academics, released a response to the articles written about him.
- The Detroit Free Press has a photo gallery up of Saturday’s football practice, and pictures 12 and 29 are really interesting. Other than the fact that Kevin Grady looks to be in much better shape than before (thank you, Mike Barwis), it should be pointed out that he was handing off the ball. I don’t know if he was acting as the quarterback or if it was simply a trick play, but either way, I bet the play was fun to watch. Also go to pictures 11 and 14 for priceless looks on David Cone’s face, and check out picture 15 to see Avery Horn’s awesome head of hair.
- The baseball team finally got to play as the weather was nice for a change, and they ended up sweeping Iowa by winning 4 games in 2 days.
- The softball team won all 4 of its games played against Indiana and Purdue over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Michigan’s women’s gymnastics team won its 16th Big Ten title.
- Michigan State beat Michigan 45-40 in overtime in the WNIT quarterfinals yesterday. U-M’s postseason run may have ended a game short of the WNIT Final Four, but this was definitely a successful season. Considering how bad the team had been the last few years, getting to the postseason alone was an accomplishment. The fact that they got to the quarterfinals of the WNIT just shows that Kevin Borseth is a great coach and has this program headed in the right direction.
- Davidson’s unbelievable run in the NCAA Tournament ended in Detroit yesterday as they just barely lost to Kansas. With the win, the Jayhawks became the fourth #1 seed to advance to the Final Four, which surprisingly has never happened before. As far as my bracket goes, I ended up getting three of the Final Four teams right. The only one I missed on was Memphis, who really shocked me with big wins over Michigan State and Texas to win the South Regional. I’m in good position to win all of the pools I’m in, but it’ll take a North Carolina win over UCLA in the title game to accomplish that.
- Ohio State beefed up its non-conference schedule for 2018 and 2019 by agreeing to a home-and-home series with Tennessee.
- And finally, a Clemson recruit decided to take a picture of himself with an unusually large amount of money. Yeah, that seems like a great idea.
- Michigan’s spring football roster is out.
- Michigan’s final spring football practice will likely be held at Saline High School, but would not be open to the public due to there not being enough room for all of the people that would show up.
- The Michigan women’s basketball team won its first postseason game in seven years on Monday by beating VCU 75-57 in the second round of the WNIT. Michigan now moves on to the third round of the tournament to host Southern Miss on Thursday.
- As it turns out, ESPNU is not going to allow Michigan’s game against Niagara in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament to be syndicated locally, meaning most fans won’t be able to watch the game.
- The Blog That Yost Built takes a look at Niagara, Michigan’s first round opponent.
- The Hoover Street Rag has started previewing the NCAA Hockey Tournament.
- Construction on Michigan Stadium has stopped for two days due to a walkout by the Graduate Employee Organization. Michigan Against the World is not happy about it.
- On April 14, Michigan’s annual basketball celebration will be held at the Junge Family Champions Center. Tickets to the event are $40.
- Ex-Fab Five member Chris Webber has decided to retire from the NBA.
- Mother nature has defeated the Michigan baseball team yet again.
- Former Michigan running back and current actor Jarrod Bunch was on CSI: Miami on Monday.
- Jim Carty was interviewed on WTKA on Tuesday and sounded like a condescending ass. Sam Webb did his best to ask Carty some tough questions, but Carty basically deflected all of them.
Photo courtesy CCHA.com
The Michigan hockey team was named the NCAA Tournament’s #1 overall seed yesterday, giving them a much easier path to the Frozen Four compared to previous years. That is the privilege that goes along with being the top seed, which is something Michigan wrapped up over the weekend by winning the CCHA title yet again.
Michigan won the CCHA regular season title by a single point over Miami (Ohio). In the CCHA Tournament finals on Saturday, Michigan did something very similar by beating Miami 2-1. That game came after Michigan knocked off Northern Michigan in a high-scoring affair on Friday. Billy Sauer didn’t play all that great as he gave up 4 goals, but the offense bailed him out by scoring 6 of its own.
With the CCHA Tournament title added to its resume, Michigan put little doubt in the minds of the selection committee in regards to which team deserved the top overall seed. U-M got it and was put in the East Regional in Albany, New York. Michigan will play Niagara to open the tourney, and should they win, next up is the winner between Clarkson and St. Cloud State.
U-M’s game against Niagara will be played at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The game is supposed to be broadcast on ESPNU, but as The Blog That Yost Built points out (who has much more on the tournament as well), local TV coverage of the game likely will be provided. The norm is for games like this to be syndicated on Comcast Local, but since that no longer exists, expect to find the game in the 900’s on digital Comcast cable only.
For a full bracket of the NCAA Tournament, click here.
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