ESPN: Why Michigan won’t win the national title

The Detroit News

The Michigan men’s basketball team is red-hot, riding a nine-game winning streak and a second straight Big Ten tournament title into the NCAA Tournament.

Of those nine victories, seven have been by double digits. The Wolverines are climbing the seed lines, and the national rankings. Surely, they’re a dark horse pick in the NCAA Tournament, right?

Not so fast, writes ESPN’s John Gasaway.

Instead, Michigan will be one of the 343 teams that won’t win the NCAA Tournament, he argues, while in-state rival Michigan State — a team Michigan beat twice, including in the Big Ten tournament semifinals — is one of eight teams that have a shot at all the marbles.

Michigan’s run has a similar feel to a year ago, Gasaway writes.

“It’s hard to resist the siren call of momentum from a team that just won its second consecutive Big Ten tournament,” Gasaway writes. “Or is it? Michigan had the same momentum a year ago, surely, and all it got John Beilein’s men was a hard-fought one-point loss to Oregon in the Sweet 16.”

The good news for Michigan fans is Gasaway’s been wrong before. Twice. Which is the number of years he’s run with this feature. He even allows, “ ... if Beilein’s men take Connecticut in 2011 as their model (ninth-place regular-season finish, won the conference tournament, won the national title), let us never speak of this again.”