Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Vault: Michigan vs. Seton Hall, 1989 (OT)

And now the exciting conclusion to last week's Vault. You know you were waiting for it. This was a joint effort between Craig and myself.

1:19:00 Last OT was in '63, which is quite a drought considering that they had 4 OT games in a 20-year span preceding that. Musberger tips us to his age by talking about the 3OT Cincy game in '61. Higgins controls the tip for Michigan. Rice hits a quick jumper in the lane with a guy climbing his back. "Two seconds too late" Billy Packer quips, and dammit, we are forced to agree.
1:19:50 Billy Packer rambles about the first OT game in NCAA history. Utah won, but we all lose.
1:20:16 Michigan plays really good defense for 40 seconds, only to see the ball kicked out to a wide open Andrew Gaze, who hits a wide-open three, his first field goal of the game. We'd yell get a body on him, but it was his first field goal of the game! Higgins rolls all around the perimeter and hits a big shot to put Michigan back up one.
1:21:00 Greene gets a WIDE OPEN three that goes off the back of the iron. Walker, however, gets the miss and the refs unfortunately get it right with a goaltending call on what would have been an EPIC block by Mills. You have to go frame-by-frame, but the ball does pass the peak of its arc.
1:21:30 Greene steals the ball and drives for a layup, but Mills hustles back to make the block this time. Higgins takes it quickly to the basket on the other end and draws a foul from Walker. Hits the first, misses the second. We're tied at 76.
1:22:38 Morton is left alone at the top of the key and drains a three which looks like a backbreaker as a fan, but Matt Millen still thinks he's gay.
1:23:07 They rotate the ball around the perimeter to Higgins, but his 3 is way short. Seton Hall switches to their "double high". 2:03 left, you're up by 3 and PJ is already trying to kill clock? OK, Dr. Goofy... T/O, Buccos. And now we get our first crowd shot of some early adopters of the Jack Sparrow line of menswear. HAAAAA! One of them removes his hook so he can clap. STAY IN CHARACTER, GENTLEMEN.
1:24:18 Morton drives the lane, draws some contact, but no call from the ref and Glen Rice comes up with a huge rebound that we swear ended up being the Sports Illustrated cover that week. Michigan brings it up and Rice gets nicely open near the top of the arc, but fails to knock down the shot. Higgins grabs the rebound and lofts one as he falls away near the block, but it won't go either. Rumeal Robinson immediately fouls Greene. Are we sure Michigan wins this game?
1:24:58 Brent and Billy are convinced Michigan is being stupid for not getting the ball to Rumeal, listing the litany of where it's going wrong, only to have Billy posit that he might be getting tired. Way to cover your bases there Mr. Packer. 1:17 left to go, and things are looking grim, but he bricks the front half of the one and one. Oh and look, now Rumeal has the ball in his hand!
1:25:37 Seton Hall plays good defense, even far out on the perimeter. Rumeal can't get a look, Higgins can't get a look. Mills finally backs his was in, steps out for the turn-around, and goes right over Ramos for the basket, which forces Seton Hall to at least take one more shot. Good effort all around there. 79-78 Buccaneers of the Intercoastal Waterway, 0:55 left.
1:26:22 The Pirates are killing time, but they have to deal with that 8-second difference between the shot clock and game clock. Morton gets into the lane, but he has to go up with four Michigan defenders around him and they don't call the (slight) contact with Rice, who collects the rebound. 0:10 left.
1:26:32 Rumeal sensing the urgency, pushes the ball coast-to-coast and Greene is just careless with his feet, thinking he's got this game in the bag. He knocks into Rumeal just enough to draw the whistle. PJ, to say the least, is displeased. Rumeal was in the process of getting rid of the ball to someone else for an open shot. Instead, we've got him on the foul line. On the replay, Rumeal's push of the ball down court is actually a thing of beauty, executing no less than two crossover dribbles to keep the ball away from slapping hands. The beauty of an explanatory replay. Oh yeah, in case we hadn't mentioned it, one of Rumeal's only weak spots? He's a 64% free throw shooter. Oh boy…Wait, even better, he's 57% for the tournament. BUT…he's 7 for 8 in the game. So that's something.
1:27:52 0:03 left. Rumeal on the line for the one and one. We're tied at 79 all. Rumeal's parents; very pleased. PJ Carlisemo and the small pelt on his chin; angry. Wait, check that, he's just calling out the play. Meanwhile, Steve Fisher looks so relaxed and mellow, it's like he's been road tripping with Bob Hope. Mike Griffin, who can be seen this summer in the upcoming Bourne Ultimatum, checks in and gives Rumeal a word of encouragement. Mrs. Coach is concerned in the stands. Rumeal's all alone on the line, everyone else is back by half court. It's the proper play, but it always looks strange. Rumeal nails the second one – his follow through arm-up looks triumphant and relieved all at the same time – PJ calls time out, and strike up the band. Mrs. Coach is dour until she sees herself on the Jumbotron, which we find kind of hilarious.
1:29:49 Michigan looks in the mood to celebrate, but they still need one more stop. During the time out, we get CBS staying with another round of the Victors. Someone in the stands has a "Say 'YES' to Fisher" sign, echoing the classic Michigan tourism slogan. Hey, Seton Hall has a band too. Who knew? They look kind of old, so I think it might be an alumni band. Oh it has to be alumni, because some tuba player's adorable 3-year-old is asleep on his shoulder.
1:31:27 We get the switch to the Seton Hall fight song, which I believe is the same song you hear at the start of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Wait, even better irony. We can see from the flip cards that among the songs in the Seton Hall arsenal is "Old Time Rock and Roll". Did Michigan have some Springsteen in the quiver just to balance the Michigan/New Jersey showdown on that one? And now you can actually hear the Michigan contingent signing "The Victors."
1:31:42 OK, so now Michigan will guard the inbound passer, Mills on Ramos. Obviously no one from Kentucky ever watched this game. Ramos makes a great pass all the way to the opposite arc where only Walker and Greene can get to it. Walker comes down with the ball, turns around and fires an NBA 3 over a player I can't identify, off the glass and into Glen Rice's hands. Steve Fisher casually walks down the sideline, cup of water in hand... (This is the part where my mom and I begin jumping up and down in celebration, even though it's way past my bedtime on a school night 2nd Grade! Woo! –GZ). The bars empty out onto South U, some of which won't have their windows in the morning. Final score: Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79. A full "Victors" plays in the background as shots of Michigan celebrating fill the screen.

And that's where the DVD ends, sadly, no "One Shining Moment", no interview with Bo or Glen Rice, just the end of the game.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Less than 40 days until college football season. Here are some desktop-sized images to whet the appetite. Apologies for the compression artifacts; blame Quicktime.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Vault: Michigan vs. Seton Hall, 1989 (Part 2)

Here we are again with The Vault, taking a look at the second half of the 1989 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game between Michigan and Seton Hall. You might be interested to know that you can order it from at NCAA On Demand or from Amazon.


Michigan has held Seton Hall to 13 fewer points than their average and has forced them to shoot a whole lot from outside, where they haven't connected.


Terry Mills comes over the top with an emphatic block. The Seton Hall player never had a prayer. On the other end, Mills finishes to give us a 39-32 lead.


Ramos looks frustrated, as he commits another foul, this time on the offensive end.


Never trust a man in a sweater-vest. (As true in 1989 as it is today. –CDB)


High-wire act on a Mills-Vaught 2-on-1 that just barely hangs together. Michigan's playing a big up-and-down game fueled by the fast break. That's a motion offense. I didn't know that was allowed in this state, especially during the Bad Boys era. (Given how Vaught was a little surprised by the pass, I don't think it was, they were just hoping no one would notice. –CDB)




Seton Hall is opening up the offense a little bit, as Morton takes it the length of the court.


Glen Rice is dropping bombs, widening the Michigan lead to 49-37. A Seton Hall player flops on the other end (Upon review, it's Gaze), but it's a good no-call away form the ball.


The crowd roars as Michigan cleans up another offense rebound, this one by Mike Griffin. Brent thinks Michigan's size advantage is showing.


The amount of hustle Michigan is showing, getting to every loose ball, is one of those little things you love to see and I hope will be seen again at Crisler soon.


Big hip-check from Glen Rice puts him and Morton on the floor. Rice just flew sideways through the air, pretending to be going for the ball.


Billy Packer notes that Morton is wearing white "girdle pants" under his shorts. He then says "girdle pants" way more times than I ever want to hear. (It is disturbing to say the least. –CDB)


Mills lays out Greene and Rumeal takes it down low, pauses, drives the basket and finishes with a SICK reverse jam. Awesome basketball to watch.


Crowd shot of Rumeal's adoptive parents in their "MEAL TIME #21" shirts. This is the first time they've seen him play as a Wolverine. Someone donated their trip to Seattle for the Finals.


Shut up Brent, you'll jinx it! He's calling that the breaks are all going Michigan's way.


Ugh. Missed jumper, the rebound goes off Higgins's hands, right back into Walker's, and he hits the layup…but thankfully he traveled before he got hacked on the shot.


Seton Hall's climbing back into this thing. It's 51-43 with 11:59 to go as Rumeal's been sitting on the bench. Yikes, the Pirates have been tough as time winds down. They've averaged under 3 FG's allowed in the last 10:00 of the game or so throughout the tournament.


Gaze is playing soft. He hasn't hit anything from the floor, and he declines posting up after giving the ball off to his teammate.


Rumeal checks back in, so does Ramos. There are bodies everywhere after a partially-blocked lay-up. Griffin is assigned the foul, Michigan's sixth as a team, and Higgins picks up his own shortly thereafter. Morton makes both. 53-47.


Higgins makes up for it on the other end as he drops a wide-open 3 to push it back to 56-47.


CBS is having fun with their graphics package here, employing all sorts of tricks that have since gone out of style. The text telling you we're at the Kingdome flips its way out of sight, I've seen the box wipe before. It's the little things that let you know the director likes these "com-poo-tors." (It's the fun stuff that you can now learn to do in your high school radio and television class. –CDB)


Seton Hall has amped up their defense and Michigan's 3 for their last 14. Hi, Bo. Glen Rice downs a 3. Hi, Mrs. Fisher. Seton Hall gets two back on the other end, and it's 59-51 with about 8 to go.


Glen Rice's 72 field goals are a new NCAA tournament record. Sen. Bill Bradley sent the Pirates a telegram of encouragement, which sounds quaint in this age. Bradley and Lautenberg have a bet going with Riegle and Levin, as politicians are prone to have, and they're betting M&M's against Vernor's. This sounds like the type of bet I'd make with my brother or some neighborhood kid. (You can hear the contempt for the stakes of the bet in Billy Packer's voice. –CDB)


Morton goes coast-to-coast to bring Seton Hall back within four with about 7:15 left in the game. Rice can't get a jumper to fall and Morton comes back with a jumper of his own that drops. Two-point game with 6:37 to play.


Rumeal gets hacked on the whole body as he goes up under the basket. He rattles home the first free throw. He's only a 64% free throw shooter (!), but he gets the second half as well.


Morton's on the line again. Billy Packer notes "this Seton Hall team can bury you on the foul line." Back to within two, but Glen Rice is going crazy and drops a huge three that breaks Bill Bradley's tournament scoring record.


Good, tough play on defense from both sides as they trade possessions. Nothing comes easy. You hear the frustration in a very audible "Come on ref!" by one of the players. Billy Packer thinks we're putting up our shots too quickly, but there's 4:30 left on the clock and all we have is a 5-point lead in an up-and-down game.


What was a good sequence on D turns ugly at the end. Rumeal thinks he's going to get a charge and flops down on the court, opening up a clear path to the basket. However, from the prone position he strips the ball, but it goes right to Walker, who's hammered by Hughes to put him on the line. He hits both freebies. 64-61, with 4:07 left.


Seton Hall is playing defense like a pack of crazed ferrets, but Terry Mills hits a tough bank off the high glass to push it to 66-61. Oh, give me a break. Billy Packer attempts a huge stretch of a metaphor: Bo has said that interim coach Steve Fisher "will get the first interview" for the permanent spot. Packer asks if Bo would get the first interview to retain his job if he won the national championship in football. Do not speak lightly of a legend like Bo, Mr. Packer. Walker's name is apt, as he turns the ball over on a traveling call. And if not, he'd have been emphatically blocked by Mills.


Ramos gets a block inside and Morton beats his man to the ball and the ball to the sideline. He taps it to his teammate and executes a give-and-go that covers half the length of the floor for a dunk that's only contested after it's over.


Turnovers and Morton are killing us. One at half court leads to an abbreviated version of the Seton Hall offense, with Morton burying a jumper before we can get our feet set. It's a 1-point game, 66-65 with 2:30 to go, and we take a hurried three. Morton runs the floor and puts in a tough lay-up. We're trailing for the first time in a long while.


Rumeal's out on the three-point line, looking for an open teammate when they call him for five seconds without a dribble. Unbelievable, but it was a good call.


Vaught gets called for a tap reach-in on Walker way out beyond the arc. We're well into the penalty, and he hits the first, but not the second. 66-68, Seafaring Pillagers.


Musburger notes that the Wolverines have turned it over three of the last four trips down the court. Rumeal brings the ball up and passes to Glen Rice as he turns around knocks down a glorious, game-saving three with Gaze in his face with 1:03 to go. 69-68.


Morton starts driving, pulls up and takes a jumper from near the high post that's way short and Higgins gets it back for the Maize and Blue. 0:46 left on the clock, and we're looking to siphon some time off that. Morton makes a play for the ball, but ends up with the foul. Someone's dad is made entirely of eye-bags. 0:34 left and Higgins on the line, PJ decides to ice him. This cue is tailor-made for Parking Lot.


That sweet, sweet 3 from Rice made him the all-time scoring leader in Big Ten history. Higgins hits both shots, 71-68. Still 0:34 left on the clock and the Pirates push it up court quickly. Morton steps back alone and puts down a 3 with 0:25 left.


0:17 left, Steve Fisher has called a timeout. Failure to get Rumeal open on the in-bounds play immediately results in our LAST TIMEOUT being called, Future Chris Webber. CBS lets the band play a Parking Lot "Victors." as they just do a montage of faces of the evening, including Magic Johnson? (The pep band is in sweaters, and several have that old foam-front school baseball cap with the winged helmet design on it. It's all very 1989. –CDB)


Robinson in the backcourt brings it up, gives to Higgins, who has Rice at the arc, but the shot won't go. Overtime.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Vault: Michigan vs. Seton Hall, 1989 (Part 1)

We've been away for a bit, getting caught up in doing summer-type things. Sorry. Here we are again with our next edition of The Vault, taking a look at the 1989 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game between Michigan and Seton Hall. You might be interested to know that you can order it from at NCAA On Demand or from Amazon.

Start of the First Half (as written by CDB):

I forgot that Michigan's road to the Final Four that year was fraught with peril, whereas Seton Hall not only looks like world beaters, but they get their own cutesy graphics package to explain it to us. (The cannon they chose seems anachronistic. I don't think pirates with buckle shoes had breech-loaders –GZ)


I also forgot that I hated Andrew Gaze for many years after this game, and I could not explain why.


Mike Griffin is the name of the fifth starter on the 1989 team you can never remember. OK, I can never remember. (No, it's clearly "we" –GZ)


The simplicity of the court design strikes me as charming. It's actually not distracting as you try and watch the game.


Brent points out that Michigan resembles Syracuse, Seton Hall's Achilles' Heel in the Big East. I'm going to have to trust him on this, but clearly, the resemblance does not extend to a comparison between the hairstyles of Steve Fisher and Jim Boeheim. (PJ Carlesimo looks like a shaved bear, or maybe just like Zack Galifianakis. As if there's any difference. –GZ)


Bill Simmons keeps complaining about the use of non-traditional camera angles when covering the NBA, and yet, here's a long establishing shot for an entire possession. He's right though, the mid-court shot works best.


Seton Hall is playing some exceptionally tough defense. Not punishing as much as it is tough man-to-man. I'd say they're choking off the passing lanes for Michigan, but that's just a cheap joke at P.J.'s expense.


Sean Higgins just made a huge mental mistake by tossing to Rumeal Robinson back across the time line. Oy...


Sweet shooting stroke by Rumeal, but it's only a two...and then, turnover leads to a quick fast break and more Michigan points. 12-8, Maize and Blue, 14:16 left.


Glen Rice draws an offensive foul, and I guess I just forgot how amazing Rice was throughout this whole tournament, even if Brent makes a horrible "wild Rice" joke coming back from "commercial".


I forgot that Rumeal was a freshman non-qualifier, back when such things existed.


Just sort of a sloppy sequence here. Nothing to add, I just hadn't written anything in a while. Seriously, the sloppiness continues for about two and a half more minutes. Rumeal had a 2-on-1 and decided not to make the pass which would have been an easy layup and couldn't make his own shot drop.


Mike Griffin looks like Opie Taylor's older cousin, while Ramon Ramos looks like he's 50.


First gratuitous iso shot of Mrs. Fisher in the stands. Michigan's cleaning up on the offensive glass.


Nice pass by Griffin inside to Rumeal. Brent notes that it feels like Robinson is headed for a huge night. I am loathe to disagree.


For all of the Fab Five's many flaws, we can thank them for saving us from the tyranny of short shorts and t-shirts under the jersey in basketball.


Seeing a Seattle with the Kingdome in the skyline just feels strange to me.


Seton Hall's on a 9-0 run, and in comes Demetrius Calip for...Higgins. 12-0 run now for the Pirates. Yar.


Apparently Andrew Gaze's father is the John Wooden of Australian basketball, and now Billy Packer is on a rant about the use of rent-a-international players. I don't think he's wrong, but if you look at what ended up happening, Andrew Gaze was the exception rather than the rule. I am left to wonder whether or not Andrew Gaze's father is bigger than Wayne Bennett in Brisbane (Not twenty times bigger! –GZ).


In watching these older games, I miss the constant score bug. In writing these notes, I've lost the score and it's tricky to pick back up where it is.


The smallest man in Division I basketball is named Mookie. I find this amusing. (I'm just amazed that the Charlotte Hornets existed in '89, and that Muggsy Bogues was playing for them –GZ)


Glen Rice just is a sharpshooter, even if it was just a 2.


I'm now convinced that Andrew Gaze and Christian Laettner share a hairstylist.


Have you ever, in your life, met or heard of another man named Loy?


It stuns me how much they actually called traveling back in the day. Another Michigan turnover, but we're tied at 28, with 3:46 remaining.


Ramon Ramos looks like a Puerto Rican Frankenstein. Seriously, he's scaring the small children. And Glen Rice, Deadeye again. Oh and they just pointed out that Glen Rice is closing in on Senator Bill Bradley's NCAA Tournament scoring record.


That was a great forced turnover by Michigan, followed by an awful bit of transition work and an even worse no-call.


Billy Packer was nowhere near as annoying in 1989 as he is today, but this could be a relative thing when paired with Brent. I'm just saying. (Having Brent on this broadcast has actually kept me from putting on this DVD at times. It's a national championship and Brent has dissuaded me from watching, he's that bad. –GZ).


Gratuitous Bo sighting #1. You get the feeling that Bo will become a leitmotif as this game moves forward.


That is NOT a "marvelous" story about Rumeal Robinson being abandoned by his mother in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a nice story about the people who adopted him. Let's please be clear about the difference here.


Rumeal hits the front half of a one and one near the end of the half. Important for later?


Michigan's up 37-32 at the half. We'll see what happens. (You can really hear the old snare rhythms as we fade out, with the reminder that Michigan has a long history of unflattering cheerleader uniforms –GZ)