April 6, 2013 at 1:00 am

Tony Paul

Hey, Spartans: Just this once, it's OK to cheer for Wolverines

Hey, fellow Spartans, I've got news for you:

It's OK to root for the Wolverines in the NCAA Tournament title game Monday night against Louisville.

Seriously, it may give you a sick feeling inside, but it won't kill you.

Promise.

We know our campus is prettier, and our bars are better, and our mascot is — well, we have one!

But Michigan's on the verge of the state's first major championship in any sport since the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2008, and the first in college since Tom Izzo and Michigan State got it done back in 2000.

And it's just fine to hope for it.

If you need a little push, here are 10 reasons:

* You can say your team beat the national champion by 23 points in a nationally televised beatdown.

* John Beilein's family was the inspiration for "Saving Private Ryan." C'mon, who can't get behind that guy?

* Charles Barkley dogged the Big Ten all month — a Big Ten in which Michigan finished FIFTH.

* We can stop all this "they closed the gap talk." It's old.

* You can make all the "When do the banners come down" jokes you want! That won't get old for a while (or until they do).

* What inferiority complex? We don't have an inferiority complex. Why, do you think we have an inferiority complex?

* Hey, it'll mean big dollars for this state's economy, in a ripple-down effect. And, yeah, we could use that.

* Remember the last time your team met Louisville? Any questions?

* If you don't like Mitch McGary, you don't like ice cream.

* We despise each other the rest of the year. It's exhausting. One day, yeah, it won't kill ya.

Promise.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tonypaul1984

Despite Michigan and Trey Burke's struggles at times, they are in the national title game. Sorry, Spartans fans. / Daniel Mears/Detroit News