After finishing tied for 8th in the Big Ten regular season, the scrappy Wolverines pulled out a gutty first round victory over Iowa, 62-59. In the second round, Michigan faced top seeded Wisconsin, who were without star guard Michael Flowers, who was out with an a severe hangover. Michigan started quickly, led by five at the half, and were able to hold on for a 72-70 victory. The Wolverines faced off with Michigan State in the third round. The Spartans were playing without their entire starting five due to a suspicious food poisoning incident originating in an Indianapolis restaurant co-owned by Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard (there is no truth to the rumor that their waiter was Mike Griffin - however, Demetrious Calip does work as a bartender in the same restaurant). The Wolverines' balanced attack was led by DeShawn Sims' 18 points, on their way to a surprisingly easy 68-58 victory. In the tournament final, the red-hot Wolverines faced the Indiana Hoosiers, who were on a hot streak of their own that started when they suspended habitual rule-breaking head coach Kelvin Sampson. Indiana played their last five games of the season with no coaching staff. Team practices (all closed to the media) were run by the players (there is no truth to the rumor that Bob Knight was involved in running practices, although a red sweater and a bullwhip were found in the locker room following their last regular season game). The Hoosiers jumped out to a quick lead, led by freshman sensation Eric Gordon, and were in front by ten at the half. However, at halftime a crazed Illinois fan, still bitter that his team was spurned by Gordon, jumped out from the crowd as the teams were leaving the court and gave Gordon the "Nancy Kerrigan treatment." His knee was severely bruised, and he was unable to play in the second half. The Wolverines went in a 15-2 run to start the second half, and the stunned Hoosiers never recovered. Michigan walked away with a 75-70 win, and with the Big Ten Tournament victory, Michigan qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999.
It's possible, right? Right? Anyone?