Um, What? January 31, 2012
I should’ve started typing immediately after the final buzzer. I should’ve walked directly into the office and started typing out my confusion. Because I really have no idea where to start.
We scored 42 points… and won. Has to be our lowest winning total since the set shot.
We shot 32.6% from the field (!!), 17.6% from three (!!!), 52.9% from the free throw line (!!!!), and we won.
Brandon Paul missed the front end of three one-and-one’s, including two in the last 30 seconds, giving Michigan State three shots at the win… and they missed them all.
Basically, the only way we win that game is if Michigan State – #10 Michigan State – shoots like, say, 24% and turns the ball over 15 times with only 4 assists.
The only equivalent I can come up with would be some baseball game where you get only 3 hits and score on a passed ball and then a wild throw to third, but you win 1-0 because the other team left 16 runners on base. That’s how this feels. We didn’t deserve to win, but thank you, better team, for missing at least 6 point blank layups and having your best player cuss at the ref, sit with three fouls, and THEN injure his knee when he could have rescued his team in the last 5 minutes.
But you know what baseball people say after a game like that. Seriously, you know what baseball people say after a game like that. Say it with me. A. Win. Is. A. Win.
Which makes me start to look at a best case scenario for this team the rest of the season. Which makes me lament the Minnesota loss. Here’s one for you: when Hollins drives for Minnesota, if Leonard would have laid down on the ground and let him make an uncontested layup… we’d be 6-3 and tied with Michigan State and Michigan a game out of first place in the B1G.
And don’t even make me revisit the Penn State game. Ok, I need to stop doing that. Pull out those close games, and we probably lose this one. We just play down-to-the-wire game after down-to-the-wire game, and it all evens out in the end. Beat Michigan at home, and we’ll lose at Nebraska. Win at Wisconsin, and we’ll lose at home to Northwestern.
I guess that’s where we’ll have to settle with this team. If we’re a 7 or a 10 seed in the tournament, and we win our first game, and we’re watching to 2/15 game to see who we’ll play, I’ll be indifferent about our opponent. If the 2-seed wins, I’ll feel confident that we can hang with them the entire game. If the 15 seed wins, I’ll feel confident that we’ll play down to their level and it will be a one point game with 1:35 to go. In 2012, we haven’t played a single game that wasn’t decided by 5 points or less. I guess that’s just the way the rest of the season will go.
42 points. And we won. What?