April 2, 2013
Senior guard Josh Bartelstein is in his senior season and his third year writing the J-Bart Blog. He will give all Wolverine fans an inside look into the program and life outside of basketball during the 2012-13 season.
What's up everyone?
Atlanta here we come!
I have had to keep pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming because the last 48 hours has been about as magical as it can get. As a kid all 15 of us dreamed about cutting down nets and playing in the Final Four, and now that dream is going to become reality!
Everything really is bigger in Texas! From the police escorts with sirens, to Cowboys Stadium which is like a spaceship, to Trey's (Burke) shot from 30 feet to Nik (Stauskas) going 6-for-6, it was a massive weekend for Michigan basketball.
The Kansas game is the best basketball game I have ever been a part of. Simply put, it was one of the best games of all time. There was a time things really didn't look good, but the fat lady wasn't singing yet so we had time. I told the guys in the huddle let's do something magical, something people will talk about for years and years!
We just kept battling and battling, Glenn (Robinson III) with the Michael Jordan type steal and dunk, Jordan (Morgan) with the huge rebound on the floor, Tim (Hardaway Jr.) with the fast break dunk, and of course an iconic shot from an iconic player in an iconic game, Trey Burke is really good at basketball!
The second game is so much about coaching and getting as good of a game plan as you can get in 36 hours. Lucky for us, our coaching staff is as good as it gets when it comes to breaking down film and getting a plan in place. They don't sleep for about two days, but they find that fine line between getting stuff in, but not over doing it.
You have to just get enough in and with so many teams it comes down to knowing the team's personnel. The plays and actions are all great, but knowing which guys can shoot and which guys prefer to drive left or right it way more important.
You saw that plan in place against Florida. We switched all the screens on Eric Murphy so he didn't get off any open three's, we made their point guard finish around the basket instead of helping off shooters and we wanted to really get out and run in transition. The game plan was executed to perfection and when you can do that, very special things happen.
But what we did best all weekend was the celebration after the game! From each of us cutting get a piece of the net, to the shirts and hats to our families coming onto the court, to the Powerade bath we gave Coach B, it was all you dream about and more. Coach never saw the Powerade coming; he had no idea and at first was in shock and maybe a little upset. But Mrs. B gave us full permission and asked us to do it, so we have to listen to her!
The flight home was every bit as exciting. From rapping on the plane, to our Harlem Shake video which you all need to check it, we had a lot of fun! How many people can say they made a Harlem Shake video on the plane home from clinching a birth in the Final Four? Not bad timing!
Once we got off the plane, the celebration continued at the PDC with about a thousand fans waiting for us. With another police escort with sirens, we got off to everyone screaming. We thanked them all for coming and then headed home for the night!
Watch: U-M's Harlem Shake | Fans Welcome Wolverines Home
With all the celebrating done, now it's time to get ready and move on to Syracuse. They are a great team who offers a ton of different challenges but we will be ready. At this point it sounds like everyone is going down to Atlanta, but we need more Maize and Blue than any other color in the Georgia Dome!
It is going to be a weekend you don't want to miss, something just like that Kansas game, you talk about for the rest of your life. Keep writing into the blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week and Go Blue!