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Know Your Friend: Michigan Wolverines

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The moment we’ve all been dreading is almost here. Tonight, Louisville and Michigan will face off in the National Championship game, and while many of you have convinced yourselves to root for the Cards as a matter of state pride, there are those of us who just can’t do that. With that in mind, let’s get to know our adopted team, the Michigan Wolverines.

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Location:

The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which was founded in 1824 and named after the founders’ wives. Aside from University of Michigan students, about 114,000 people call Ann Arbor home, which means that the entire population of the city could comfortably sit inside massive Michigan Stadium. As you would expect, almost everything in “Tree Town” centers around the school. Forbes ranks Ann Arbor as the 67th Best Place in the US for Business and Careers, which means that a large chunk of the city lives and dies by college kids eating, drinking, and making irresponsible purchases with their parents’ credit card. The upside to Ann Arbor? Lots of trees, bars, and an average of only 11 days a year when the temperature is higher than 90 degrees. The downside? For 190 days of the year, it’s below freezing, and they average 40 inches of snow. Invest in a nice peacoat.

Notable Alumni/People of Interest loosely associated with the school:

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Selma Blair — forever remembered for her kiss with Sarah Michelle Gellar in “Cruel Intentions”

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James Earl Jones — single-handedly the most comforting and intimidating voice in the world

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Mike Wallace — Late “60 Minutes” anchor

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Tom Brady — New England Patriots QB who is universally unlikeable due to the fact he has everything in life, including a rather odd dog collar.

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Chiara Levin — Former Danvillian and Michigan alum. If you know, you know.

Dance Team/Cheerleading Team Scouting Report:

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That’s a lot of odd poses and very pointed toes.

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Mascot Watch:

Michigan is one of the rare schools without a mascot. Yes, their nickname is the “Wolverines,” but sadly, there is no cuddly costumed creature to roam around games and spread cheer. Why? Here’s a brief history.

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Wolverines do exist outside of X-Men. They are a member of the weasel family, and are also known by the names glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch.

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In 1927, Michigan attempted to bring two live wolverines, Biff and Bennie, to games, but after the animals became too ferocious (one of them reportedly snapped the bars of his cage in two with his teeth), Michigan officials refused to carry their cage into the stadium. The animals were quickly moved to local zoos.

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In the 1960’s and 70’s, Whiskey and Brandy, two small dogs, became the team’s unofficial mascots after performing halftime shows. After the dogs grew old and retired, students lobbied for “Willy the Wolverine,” a costumed mascot that stuck around until 1992, despite criticism from notable alums, like the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, who was at the time the sports editor of “The Michigan Daily”:

“What can be more annoying than watching some overgrown ball of fuzz named Willy run around Michigan Stadium, acting like a buffoon?…in Michigan Stadium, for crying out loud. Where Bo works. Just say no to Willy.”

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Interestingly, one of Willie’s creators went on to found Groupon, so I’d say he’s faring well, for at least 60% off.

Basketball History:

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Michigan has one NCAA Championship from 1989, but they are most famous for the Fab Five, the 1991 recruiting class of five freshman starters: Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. They went to the championship game in 1992 and 1993, falling short to Duke and North Carolina, respectively. Both second-place finishes would be vacated because of the Ed Martin scandal, but the Fab Five changed the culture of college basketball, which is best summed up by ESPN’s film on the subject. View clips of it here.

Yesterday, Jalen Rose made a plea on Bill Simmons’ podcast for the Fab Five to reunite at tonight’s game. Maybe if they do, the CBS cameras will cut away from Kevin Ware for at least fifteen seconds.

Coach: John Beilein

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This is Beilien first Final Four. He’s in his sixth season at Michigan, with a career record of 673-402. He previously coached West Virginia and the University of Richmond. He’s been candid about the fact that he’s facing Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino, whose instructional coaching tapes he bought back in the day. He’s humble, honest and admittedly a little bit in awe of what’s in front of him right now:

“When I came out last night, I gave the speech – 10-foot baskets, 94-foot court. You don’t need to look up in the stands and see what’s there. Then I gave in, took a little peek. I might have said something I shouldn’t say on TV, like ‘Holy Cow.'”

He’s got my vote.

Players:

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Trey Burke — Burke is the consensus national player of the year, picking up the Naismith award last night. He’ll have to be all that and more tonight against Russ Smith and Peyton Siva.

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Tim Hardaway Jr. — Tim is the son of former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway (Sr.). According to Jalen Rose, Tim Jr. has been wearing a “Free Fab Five” shirt around campus for years.

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Glenn Robinson III — Glenn the third is another son of a former NBA player, Glenn Robinson, Jr. Fun fact: the 6’6″ 210 lbs. small forward only weighed three pounds when he was born.

Summary/Prediction:

I will cheer for the Wolverines with every fiber of my being tonight, but sadly, a national championship just seems to be in Louisville’s cards this year (sic). Feel free to use that, Jim Nantz.

Cards win 79-71. The city of Louisville will be forced to play everyone’s favorite game “Gunshot or Firework,” while Lexington takes two sleeping pills and dreams of next year’s title run.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

39 Comments for Know Your Friend: Michigan Wolverines



  1. Kelkat
    5:18 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Come on Trey !!!!



  2. FinjaDave
    5:19 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Hail to the victors valiant;
    Hail to the Conquering Heroes;
    Hail, Hail Michigan…

    For One Night Only.

    Go Cats!



  3. Roland
    5:20 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Saw this post earlier and now I for got what I was going to say.



  4. Roland
    5:23 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    No love for Pitino should come from UM fans.
    http://vaughtsviews.com/pitino-says-move-to-louisville-was-right-for-family-and-says-his-wife-is-one-who-convinced-him-to-take-the-job/

    Story linked on former coach pitino at UM.



  5. Chris w.
    5:27 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Michigan, please keep a careful count of your timeouts.



  6. ToeHead
    5:29 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Won’t root for Pitino, can’t root for Michigan. Guess I’ll just watch Dancing with the Stars.

    Work’s gonna suck tomorrow.



  7. TrailerTrash
    5:30 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    “Go Blue”….works for me



  8. uk9698
    5:32 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    UK won it’s 3rd championship 64 years ago!! The hail with Lousieville!! GO BIG BLUE



  9. UKDMD
    5:41 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    The UL UK rivalry will never be considered as big as the UNC Duke one until we stop rooting for our rival like a bunch of sissies.

    Does UNC or Duke ever root for one another?
    Did Louisville root for us last year?
    Is there any definitive proof Pitino really said “bring it home” to Cal?

    No? Didnt think so. Bunch of bandwagon fans.



  10. married 2 spartan
    5:46 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    My wife hates michigan worse than I hate louisville. I think i will watch reruns of big bang theory



  11. Big Blue B-Rad
    5:46 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    9) you hit the nail right on the head with that post!



  12. Amen
    5:49 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    #9 I agree with you 100%. I want the UK UL rivalry to be tops in College BB. Sadly, that can’t happen if you’re rooting for your rival. I just wish people would realize this. I hate that “it’s for the state” argument too. Unless UK gets a share of that title and can hang it in Rupp, it’s only for Louisville.



  13. King Kelly Coleman
    5:52 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t forget the Sugarbush Tavern in Sugarbush Township!!!



  14. DT in DC
    5:55 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    I’d cheer for whatever team was playing Louisville anyway, but I’m happy that I get the added bonus of cheering for the Alma Mater of my awesome Father in Law tonight! Go Blue! (PS – even more added bonus is I picked UL to win it all in my pool, but I am ahead by enough points that I win either way!)



  15. Rickdickulous
    5:58 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    #9 what a silly question: did Louisville root for us last year? I went to the Final Four in NOLA and I am not joking; yes there were UofL fans at the NC game Monday night that were rooting for UK. Sat among a group of several that did. Had on their Cardinal gear, but cheered for UK. But regardless, there are going to be some of their fans that root for us if they aren’t in it and vice versa. To each his own. Like #10 says, I am going to watch Family guy reruns on TBS and pretend its July or something.



  16. malibuken
    5:58 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    don’t know Chiara Levin, whats the story?
    Also agree we shouldn’t cheer for UL, they are a rival. Screw em, I hope they get beat by 20. But if they do win it’s gonna be one hell of a build up to our game next season. the last 2 champs facing off, I can’t wait to beat em.



  17. Samsonite
    5:59 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    9 – Could not agree more. The amount of “UK fans” claiming to root for UL tonight is shocking. That’s what a rivalry IS. You hate your rival to the core no matter what. You can hope Kevin Ware has a speedy recovery and is 100% very soon AND STILL want UL to lose by 30 points tonight. They sure-as-f*** didn’t root for us in any game last year, including the championship.



  18. mudcreekmark
    6:00 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    I love Selma Blair. She has a unique look,a very sexy unique look.



  19. UKDMD
    6:06 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    15) even if what you say is true, Louisville had a motive to root for us that game. They lost to us, so us winning it all makes them look better.
    Also those fans had already spent thousands on tickets, might as well get drunk and root for someone if you’re in NOLA.
    And like you said, there are gonna be fans that don’t root for us and vice versa. I guarentee the majority of ville fans last year were praying we’d lose the championship game. They hate us more than we hate them out of sheer jealousy. Lil brother for life.



  20. Ed
    6:15 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    **For BBN Championship night 2013

    I sit and think about going back in time when we were chasing 8 and thinking about number 9.

    Tonight I will watch the Ville try to win it all– in hopes that the Wolverines will make them fall.

    Next year again we will see our CATS shine, with the best recruiting class of all time.

    So what if the Ville should win tonight, we here in BBN will be alright.

    All of the Cards fans will yell and squeal- next year the Cards and all of the nation will know what’s real.

    Tonight just might be their time but next year is ours we will hang #9.

    Go Big Blue!



  21. PittCat
    6:19 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Michigan is my “secondary” team. I’ve been a Michigan fan since I was a child. That being said, I could not listen to the radio show this morning. Matt’s defeatist attitude was just bringing me down WAY too much. I should have expected it, Matt thought South Dakota State would beat Michigan in the first round. Oh well, just wanted to get that off my chest…Hail to the Victors…let’s get #9 next year.



  22. John Ellis
    6:19 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Pitino’s ‘humility’, the players with dying parents and broken limbs are becoming as off-putting as the Palins. Let them lose to a very gifted Michigan team tonight and hear no more. Then we’ll see how many of them ‘play for Lullville’ by coming back next year. Only Siva graduates.



  23. None Ya
    6:25 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Anybody interested in meeting up at Porcini’s to watch the game and have a few stiff drinks? With any luck, The Louisville Turdnals will come up short like their coach.



  24. Wildcatsteeler
    6:26 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    In the immortal words of C Thomas Howell in 1984s Red Dawn. WOLVERINES!!!!!!



  25. Galtoid
    6:27 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know. I really think Michigan has a decent chance to pull off the upset tonight. They will play like they have nothing to lose. Cards might be a little tight. Whichever team controls the first half most often than not, wins. Go Blue.



  26. Galtoid
    6:29 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    And . . . let’s be honest. The Kevin Ware Sympathy Tour has “jumped the shark,” in my opinion. Please. It was an awful injury, but come on . . . He didn’t die!



  27. Wildcatsteeler
    6:35 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Why is everyone assuming the Cards will win? Didn’t anybody watch the Wichita St game? They barely escaped against a 9 seed that couldn’t buy a shot beyond 2 feet. The Cards will lose tonight and suffer another crushing heartbreak and it will be Pitino’s last visit to the Finals.



  28. hellcat
    6:46 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    You’ve proberly Heard it thousands of times: My two favourite teams are the CATS and whomever is playing the tards!!



  29. catmedic
    6:49 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    chinstraps must lose! chinstraps will lose! Go Michigan!



  30. Mike
    7:16 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Does 1993 Final Four ring a bell



  31. Randy Marsh
    7:16 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    What’s with the (sic), TT? Did you take that quote from somewhere?



  32. spookykim
    7:17 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    The young people can root for Michigan, but for those of us that had to suffer thru the Fab Five, & their cheating, hateful, gloating obnoxiousness, I’ll never root for Michigan (except if they play Duke — the ultimate devil). One of the greatest moments in basketball history is when Webber called that timeout. Loved it! Karma is a biotch! I hate to say it, but GO CARDS!



  33. Syrin
    7:19 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Michigan by 10. This is the team prototype you would use to be U of L. 4 good ball handlers, can create their own shot, lethal outside shooting, can rebound and defend inside. They’ll force a streaky outside shooting U of L team to chuck it up from outside, and they’ll lose.



  34. BravoBigBlue
    8:03 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    I live in Louisville (transplant) and I’m tempted to not watch the game at all. Just wait for the sound of the gunshots around midnight. Hopefully, I don’t hear any.



  35. Card County
    8:08 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    The Cards do not have a Card Nation… They have a Card County and they really do not have the whole county……… Hate that the young fellow got hurt but I am WAREDOUT. Go Blue.



  36. J A Brooks
    8:11 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    I can’t believe how bad people are at predicting games. All the KSR personalities are picking UL by 6-15 points.

    Michigan wins this game and is in control for the bulk of the 40 minutes… I cant believe Matt picked UL by 15? Dumbest prediction ever.



  37. DT in DC
    8:35 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    #34 – I have a feeling win or lose there will be gunshots!



  38. jhnny
    9:14 pm April 8, 2013 Permalink

    Sad to see that Tyler wrote this post, my favorite KSR writer. Guys, Kentucky isn’t like North Carolina or Florida- where people around the country think highly of our state. So we can’t compare ourselves to the fans of North Carolina or Duke. Or the fans of Florida and Florida State. We are Kentucky. Everyone, outside of our state, believes we are worthless hicks. Why would we ever root against anyone who succeeds from this state? If WKU were in the final, I would root for them. If NKU were in the final, I would root for them. If Murray were in the final, I would root for them.

    Of course I root for UL tonight. Go Cards! Go the Commonwealth of Kentucky!

    Next year, its all BBN!



  39. card fan
    9:22 am April 9, 2013 Permalink

    wow – guess the moron who posted this not only wasted his time,
    but must feel like a ignorant a**.
    this type of crap is why every other school who has contact with your fans (SEC schools, ville, ect) cant stand your stupid and ignorant comments.
    keep on thinking next year (just like you did in 2011-2012 when all of you fools were convinced ole’ eraser head was gonna give you back to back wins)-
    its called Karma – stupidity breeds stupidity – but good luck to you next year – redeem yourselves and lets just put that NIT first round loss behind us all.