I’m ANGRY! and hugging and crying and happy and ANGRY! and happy and crying

Tom Crean had quite the fifteen minute stretch on Sunday. It was the general sort of sequence that only the genius possess and the insane lament.

But before we get to that, let’s take a few minutes to look at the first half of the game, when the internet thought he couldn’t coach. Again.

We jumped out to a 10-3 lead on a stretch of pretty impressive play from the starting five, two three’s by Jordy, a lay up by Victor and a lay up by Yogi. Michigan looked sloppy and we looked in control. Then the 16:00 time out hit and Crean started subbing. Jeremy, Remy, Hanner, and Will all hit the floor over the next four minutes and it went like this for us on offense.

Missed lay up

Missed lay up

Turnover

Missed lay up

Missed jumper

Turnover

Missed jumper

Missed lay up

Missed put back

Missed Jumper

This is how it looked for Michigan

Missed jumper

Missed jumper

Turnover

Dunk

Lay up

Steal

Missed lay up

Three pointer

Missed three pointer

Block

Three pointer

Jumper

At the next time out it had gone from 10-3 to 10-15 and all Jim Nantz could talk about was what a fantastic coaching move it was to take out Trey Burke and them put him back in. No mention made of our missed lay ups and the generally terrible play by our bench. It became very clear to me, sitting on my couch, that we were an immensely better team when our starters were on the floor as opposed to our subs and I told the internet that we should have no more than one sub on the floor at any one time.

The internet listened and nodded in agreement. Tom Crean did not and even the chiding of Doug Gottlieb at half time over the use of our subs didn’t prevent Crean from giving our starters rest to keep them fresh for the last four minutes of the game when he seemed to think it might matter.

In my defense (not the internet’s because screw the internet, am I right? Internet? Am I right. . . screw you?) I got it. You have to sub to rest your guys. You have to sub to reward good play in practice. You have to sub to try to exploit match ups. The problem was our subs weren’t playing very well.

But we made it halftime down three on the road. And Tom Crean was a terrible game coach who didn’t know how to substitute his players and might have been to our chances of winning this game what Joseph Smith was to babies (extra points to you if you’ve seen Book of Mormon and got that joke) (And congratulations for reading the only IU @ Michigan game column that referenced a Tony Award Winning Musical. You get +10 culture points and I get +50 D&D plus Broadway Musical plus basketball points).

The second half was a great back and forth battle that led to Tom Crean’s time to shine. And, not for nuthin’, but both Will and Jeremy played really well and gave us quality minutes.

With 1:03 left in the game and Michigan up four with the ball after back to back turnovers. Crean had the team pick up full court, causing Michigan to burn its last time out when they couldn’t get the ball in bounds.

The cromulent points of the game reset are these. We’re down 4. Michigan is out of timeouts. We’ve only committed 4 team fouls. There’s 1:03 seconds on the clock.

Will fouls someone on Michigan whose number I can’t read because their uniforms are incredibly stupid. 57.5 seconds

Michigan in bounds the ball on the sideline and Victor commits a foul. 53.5 seconds.

Michigan in bounds the ball again on the sideline and Christian gets beat on a break out to the hoop. He fouls. It’s reviewed for possibly being a flagrant foul and was deemed to be just a foul. 52.0 seconds.

Michigan takes this time, as does Indiana, to get a little extra team conversation in.

Glenn Robinson misses the first and makes the second. 66-71 Michigan. 52.0

Yogi brings the ball down the court and gets to Cody on the wing who drives to the basket, misses it, grabs his own rebound and puts it back in. 68-71. 39.5 seconds.

Michigan in bounds. We foul. 38.0 seconds

Hardway Jr. goes to the line for 1-and-1. He misses the first.

Yogi pushed down the court, gets it to Cody on the block who is double team and fouled. He makes both free throws. 70-71. 29.1 seconds.

Michigan in bounds. We foul. 27.7 seconds.

Trey Burke goes to the line for 1-and-1. He misses the first.

Yogi brings the ball across the time line, Jordy sets a screen on the block, Yogi gets the ball to Cody who scores. 72-71. 13.7 seconds.

Michigan inbounds the ball. Trey Burke gets a great look at a runner that doesn’t go, Jordan Morgan misses the tip in. Christian saves the ball to Cody and the clock expires. The celebration begins. It’s been seven minutes of real time.

And before we get to what happens next which isn’t nearly as important as what just happened, but is incredibly interesting none-the-less, let’s look quickly at what Crean’s coaching accomplished.

He had a team that was down four on the road with a lot on the line against a very good opponent.

Time. Score. Situation.

1:03. 66-70. We need to foul three times quickly to get Michigan into the bonus.

We get those three fouls and only 15 seconds have ticked off the clock. Robinson helps us out by missing one free throw.

Time. Score. Situation.

52.0. 66-71. We need a quick basket and they can’t stop Cody. He scores. 13 seconds elapse.

Time Score. Situation.

39.5. 68-71. We need to foul and then come back down and score. Hardaway helps us out by missing the front end. Yogi pushes the ball to Cody, who can’t be stopped. He’s double teamed and fouled. He makes them both.

Time. Score. Situation.

29.1. 70-71. We need to foul again. The shot clock is off. Worst case we’re down three, best case, we can score and take the lead. We foul Burke. He misses the front end. Yogi gets the ball to Cody on the same side of the court for the third possession in a row. Cody scores we take the lead.

Time. Score. Situation.

13.5. 72-71. We need to stop them from scoring without fouling. We pick up full court to force them to eat time. Burke gets a good look. Morgan gets a better one. Christian makes a save to Cody that no one talks about but which allows the clock to run out.

Did you notice what didn’t happen in the stretch now that you’ve read it twice? Crean never called a timeout. His team understood Time. Score. Situation so well in that last minute that they were able to score six unanswered points without once taking a timeout to allow a reeling Michigan team to reset. That was not only terrific in-game coaching, but that’s a team that is well prepared and knew what to do. That was a tremendous seven minutes.

Then. Crean went to the Michigan bench to shake hands and to get in the face of Michigan assistant coach and former Kelvin Sampson assistant at IU, Jeff Meyer. In the joy of that moment, capturing an outright Big Ten title, Crean went to yell at an assistant coach.

He finished that. Went up into the stand to share and emotional hug with his family.

Came down on the court. Embraced a weeping Victor Oladipo and told him to never let up and this is what happens when you believe in yourself and other such things.

He got back in the face of Jeff Meyer and told him, “You know what you did. You held this program back.”

He then does a post-game interview with Victor and Cody. He’s all smiles. He’s thrilled. Victor has tears coming down his cheeks. Victor has trouble getting started. When the camera pulls back Crean is nearly in tears. Cody talks while Crean hugs Victor and they come back to Crean and he is so choked up it’s hard for him to talk.

The massive emotional and behavioral swings in the five minutes or so after the game ended. Chesty and confrontational to emotional family guy to emotional father-figure and coach to chesty and confrontational to happy and excited to completely overcome with emotion during an interview.

Seven minutes of brilliant coaching follow by five minutes of nearly psychotic behavior.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been as impressed by another 15 minute stretch in anyone’s life. Ever.

Plus we won the Big Ten title and (seemingly) locked up the #1 seed in the Midwest. So we got that going for us. Which is nice.

Jeff Taylor