Probably not going to happen, but at least you’ll be fired up to sit on the couch all night.
WHEN DOES DETROIT PLAY?*: DETROIT PLAYS ON FRIDAY (TODAY) AT 9:57 PM
*This section sponsored by ESPN, because I had to click on 12 different pages of their godforsaken website to find the fucking game time.
How did they get here?: The Titans finished 3rd in the Horizon League during the regular season, but took regular season Valparaiso to the woodshed in the 3rd meeting of the season. Their 70-50 win in the conference tournament championship game clinched the Titans’ first NCAA berth since 1999. This was a stark turnaround to the start of the season, when Detroit started 7-10. They have been on fire since, finishing the season 15-3.
First round opponent: Kansas Jayhawks.
This could be rough. Despite what was supposed to be a rebuilding year (by Kansas’ standards), the Jayhawks won their 8th straight Big 12 championship. Even worse for the Titans is that Kansas probably feels slighted for getting a 2 seed, even though their bracket is highly favorable. Another bad sign for Detroit? The game is being played in Omaha, just three hours away from Kansas’ campus.
Keys to success: Ray McCallum Jr., Detroit’s best player by a landslide, needs to have the game(s) of his career. McCallum has legitimate NBA talent (he was recruited by Kansas, along with a slew of other college basketball who’s whos) and needs to put it on display in spades. If he is inefficient offensively, the Titans are done.
The Titans will also need to shoot lights out around McCallum. They aren’t a big time 3 point shooting team, but it wouldn’t hurt to knock down a few of those either. Finally, Detroit needs to contain Thomas Robinson. If he plays like he has all year (i.e. really, really well), the Titans are in trouble.
Prediction: Detroit got a raw deal in this bracket. This team is more talented than their 15 seed suggests, but this is an unholy bitch of a matchup for them. Kansas is arguably the most talented team in the tournament not named Kentucky and will essentially be playing a home game. I think Detroit will keep it competitive for a half, but those of you picking Kansas to go to the Final Four (this guy included) shouldn’t have too much to worry about afterward.