Final Four 2018: Michigan vs. Loyola


I just listened to both of these pressers. I, of course, need to be careful because I stuck my foot in my mouth with my comments about another coach in another press conference a week or so ago and felt very badly about it. I listened to Porter Moser first. He is outgoing and affable. He’s a good public speaker with lots of energy. I enjoyed listening to the guy. I don’t think he made one reference to Michigan. Now, I understand he may feel he has to build up the Loyola brand. And I also understand that no one asked him a question about Michigan, but unless, I’m wrong, the entire press conference was about Loyola and how great they are. They have a beautiful campus, they’ve got Academic All Americans, they have great kids who work hard and are unselfish. All good stuff. Not one word about Michigan. I guess that’s OK.

Before I listened to Coach B, I said to my wife, “Coach B will give praise to Loyola and talk about how good they are,” mark my words. I don’t think it took JB more than a minute, perhaps a minute and 15 seconds to give credit to Loyola. Did he talk about our great university? You bet he did. Did he talk about our fans? Yep, he did. Did he talk about our great conference and about playing for B1G Championships. For sure, he did. Did he talk about our outstanding staff! Absolutely. Did he talk about our terrific, hard working, really smart kids. He sure did. I like Porter Moser. I’m sure he’s a good coach. I’m sure he’ll prepare his team well. I’m sure he’s competitive. I like the guy. I love Coach B, and I’m glad he’s OUR coach!


I noticed that Michigan never came up in Moser’s presser too, but I had a different reaction – a small measure of happiness. It’s a great story that Loyola made it. Moser has never made the NCAA tourney before – he’s never even made the NIT before. This is a great opportunity for him to sell Loyola and himself, and he does seem like a good guy.

Meanwhile, Beilein is laser focused on beating Loyola and he’s telling his players (and anyone who’ll listen) how good UM will have to play. I’m sure Moser is doing a great job preparing his players, and conversely I’m sure our guys are getting a little caught up in the hoopla, but if our coaches and our team are even a sliver more focused on the game or the opponent, that’s probably to our advantage.


I liked Coach Beilein with the talk that Eli Brooks may play Saturday.
2 good pressers. Makes me want to see what Wright and Self had to say.
I realize Self most probably cheats but he’s always come off as a likable guy to me.


Don’t get me wrong. I like the guy. I like sister Jean, too. If they weren’t playing Michigan on Saturday, I’d be all in for them. But I was always the kind of coach who would praise the heck out of our opponent and then I’d want to beat the crap out of them. I have heard that Moser is great at preparation. Guess what, he’s going up against the master of preparation. I hope they play well, I really do. I just hope we play a lot better!

I remember the 1963 Loyola team, (whoa, I’m OLD!) but I sure hope, no matter how much their program needs it, they don’t get the opportunity to play for a national championship this year! Go BLUE!!!


How worried are we all/should we be about Duncan defending the perimeter? He fights so hard in the post that it’s made me, at least, forget some of his struggles defending in space (or has he improved there, too, in the latter half of the season?).

I was watching our FSU game and realized that Duncan picked up 3 fouls in the 2nd half with alarming alacrity.

That’s probably where Porter Moser is planning to attack, right? Getting fouls on him because he can get foul happy and also going after Moe.

That two minute stretch against FSU concerns me.


Prediction: Livers and Simmons will combine for 10 points or more against Loyola.


As long as he gets his 6 points!

I’ve been so cranky this week waiting for this game. It think it’s an addiction. I need my Maize and Blue Crack.

Cool send-off vid:


Gamblers talk the game:


I’m losing my mind. I think I’ve almost literally made myself sick with worry.

I guess I did miss the Wichita regional, but I’ve gotten so used to actually going to these games since the start of the BTT that it’s making me nuts that I couldn’t make it to this one. Also hope our team hasn’t gotten too used to home games. But if they can handle the hate at the Breslin, they can handle this. Still, I can’t be the only one who’s been feeling mildly nauseous all week.


I am not going to worry too much. Loyola probably does not have athletic wings that can fully explore Duncan’s weakness. However, if they do put Duncan on the spot, we can counter with X, MAAR, Poole and Matthews from 1-4. I think that we will have success attack their inside, they were lucky that both K-State and Tennessee were without their best post players. On defense I think that we are going to be aggressive to create TOs for easy buckets. If Loyola does not take care the ball, it can turn into a rout early.


I would guess they are gonna try constantly attack Duncan with Marques Townes


Nice Donte Ingram vid. Mostly feasting on small front-lines and some high post mid-range.


I think the tourney needs to be scheduled differently. There is so much excitement in the first four rounds, then you wait a week and. . . play again in two days. The Final Four should happen on the Wednesday and the championship on the Sunday. The tension dissipates during the long week and I’m NEVER ready for the game on the Monday. I absolutely get (or think I get) that the Final Four happens on a Saturday so that both finalists have much the same amount of time to prepare, but a week to prep for the semifinal and two days for the final? Someone who thinks this is a good arrangement, please explain why to me.


I agree, but I’d make it Thursday and Sunday. 2 vs 3 days rest may be significant difference. 6 vs 7 days rest is splitting hairs though.


Good call.


I think it’s for academic reasons. Our guys were in class Mon/Tues/Wed and then flew Wednesday evening to San Antonio. If we had a game in the middle of the week, we’d miss the entire week of class if we won, and the first four days if we lost.

As for why you only get 48 hours to prepare for the final, that’s just how the tournament is each weekend.


Or even Ingram, no?


I believe that Michigan can guard Loyola’s players one-on-one and I also believe that Michigan is better prepared than most to defend Loyola’s action away from the ball. There are a few guys (looking at you, JP) who might get lost for a play or two and let his guy slip but when it comes to the vets, I think they are gonna get it done defensively.



Dylan, if you ever give up this gig I won’t know what to do with myself. Thanks for the preview.

A sentiment analysis, plotted as a time series, of fan impressions of Michigan basketball since UMHoops started to now would be fascinating. My guess is that fan engagement / positive responses lag performance by several months.