That's it folks.
If you want to vent about the game, the refs, or something else negative, take it somewhere else. I'm not going to have it. I have as many problems with all of that as you do, but tonight is about something else. It's about this team.
You just watched the best Michigan team in 20 years put together a furious tournament run. Appreciate it.
And, as Maize n Brew so aptly put it, that's what we're going to do. Michigan gave their fans an incredible, unforgettable run to the Final Four in Atlanta and a thrilling performance in the National Championship game. They came up short, but the fun levels in experiencing it all were through the roof, and the Michigan players handled defeat with the utmost class and admirable dignity [Grantland]:
"It's definitely difficult; it's definitely tough. But as a Michigan man — the type of character you have for yourself — you have to be able to handle that. You have to be able to lose with pride and win with pride. That's what we did. After losses like this, it definitely hurts. But you have to be able to talk to the media and get it off your chest. You know, not really express your emotions that may be in your head. You can't really — you might be mad, you might be sad, things like that — but you have to reflect on the season you had, you have to think about the good times and things like that. That's the only way you're going to be able to grow from it and learn from this experience." – Trey Burke […]
That sense of composure, even amid the tears and the reality of the loss, was what stayed with me after I left. The situation in the locker room was not ideal, but the sport makes money because people care, and because people care, journalists have to ask their questions, and the players have to answer. And even though the players aren't compensated like professionals, this particular bunch behaved like them. There's strength in that, and you can't help but be impressed. It's a measure of their character and John Beilein's, as well, and the same could be said for the winners. The first move Peyton Siva made, with two seconds left and Michigan having sagged its shoulders in concession as the refs adjusted the time on the clock, was to hug Burke in the backcourt. Chane Behanan followed, and so did Hancock. They moved from him to the other Michigan players, consoling them before the celebration. They had just played one of the best games in recent tournament memory — and the best first half of college basketball I've ever seen — and now they were proving something a little deeper.
Nobody puts it better than Brian at Mgoblog:
It sucks they lost, of course, but mainly I just think about how goddamn awesome the last three weeks were. Michigan took down VCU, Kansas, Florida, and Syracuse and played one of the all-time classic finals. It didn't work out; I could talk to you about rebounding and refereeing but I mean seriously that's beside the point. So beside the point. Tomorrow or the day after I will take those items on. At the moment, I'm all about whichever side of the brain is all about verbs and unicorns.
This team was awesome and the worst thing about all of this is now it's over, and that was going to happen anyway. We just talked, on the roof, about my world-spanning naiveté when I was a freshman in '97 and thought I should wait for a senior-year Rose Bowl. I 'm old enough now to have few illusions about how common a thing like this is. Boeheim's been to four Final Fours in 37 years. Massive all-encompassing basketball power Louisville last won in 1986. A thing like this does not come along often, and six points short pales in comparison to four people cementing themselves to each other on a cool Atlanta morning.
Go Blue. Thank you, 2012-13 Michigan Wolverines.