By: Hunter Firestone
The Michigan Wolverines had a very good season last year. Even after losing Trey Burke to the NBA draft, they still had a deep run into the NCAA Tournament, and even though they lost to Kentucky in the Elite 8, many people, including myself, would say that Michigan had a successful campaign. Let’s talk about how the season went in whole for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines started off the year by playing five games against smaller colleges, going 5-1 by way of easy wins until losing to Iowa State in their fifth game. Michigan then played in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament, making it to the finals before losing to Charlotte 63-61 in a nail-biter.
Michigan’s first real test of the year would be in the Big Ten/ACC challenge, where the Wolverines had to play Duke at Coach K’s court. And the Wolverines were definably tested. The Blue Devils were playing a great game, and the Wolverines never seemed to be able to catch up. The Wolverines would end up losing the game, 79-69.
Once Michigan got to the conference games, they seemed to be unstoppable, winning their first eight Big Ten games. It took losing to Indiana to finally break that winning trend. Michigan would only lose two more conference games the rest of the regular season, losing to Wisconsin and Iowa. Going into the Big Ten Tournament, the Wolverines had a 23-7 (15-3) record, which was very impressive despite the slump many preseason experts said they would have. Michigan earned the right of being Big Ten regular season champions.
When it came to high level basketball, the Michigan Wolverines never showed any weakness. In the Big Ten Tournament, they had to beat two impressive teams in Illinois and Ohio State to make it to the Big Ten Championship. And in that championship game, the Wolverines put up a great fight against rival Michigan State. The final score of 69-55 didn’t show how great of a game this was to watch. But that game would be a good prep for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
In Michigan’s first game, they went up against Wofford University. And if we’re all being honest, most of us didn’t know who Wofford was before the game, and the final score would show that, as Michigan won 57-40. In the Round of 32, the Wolverines faced Texas, who they beat 79-65. In the Sweet 16, the Wolverines played against Tennessee. Many people would say later that this game was one of the best games of the tournament. And the final score would show that, as Michigan won, 73-71.
Then came the most important game of the year: the Elite 8 game against Kentucky. If the Wolverines had won, they would have made their second straight Final Four appearance, with a great shot at another National Championship appearance. And the Wolverines played a great game. They ended up losing the game by an Aaron Harrison three-pointer in the final seconds by Kentucky. All in all, Michigan had a great 2013-2014 basketball season. Now let’s see if we can have that same success in 2014.
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