March sadness got you down? Think Michigan is a world away from the NCAA Tournament? The Wolverines are closer than you think:
We”ll start at the bottom the play-in game featuring Northwestern State. In case you were curious, Northwestern State is nowhere near the Northwest. It”s in Louisiana. The coach at Northwestern State is Mike McConathy. His college roommate was Tim Floyd, the former coach of Iowa State. Iowa State star Jamaal Tinsley, a Brooklyn native, honed his skills in New York City”s Rucker League a famous street-ball venue that also produced Stephon Marbury, an NBA lottery pick from Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech, a No. 8 seed in the West, is complemented by the services of 6-9 freshman Robert Brooks, a graduate of Saginaw Arthur Hill. He played high school ball with Jason Richardson, an all-Big Ten sophomore at Michigan State. Michigan State”s Mike Chappell is a transfer from Duke. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was a former graduate assistant at Indiana. Indiana”s Jared Jeffries went to high school with Djibril Kante, the 6-7 forward at Indiana State. Indiana State was home to assistant coach Greg Lansing for four years before he became an assistant at Iowa. Iowa”s Reggie Evans was the teammate of Roy Boone at Coffeyville Community College before Boone transferred to Wisconsin. Wisconsin assistant Tony Bennett lived in Charlotte, N.C. for three years hometown C-USA champ N.C. Charlotte. N.C. Charlotte”s Malik El-Tamer is from Cologne, Germany, and Michael Jordan, who has marketed a popular cologne, attended North Carolina. North Carolina star Joseph Forte was the high school teammate of Kentucky”s Keith Bogans. Kentucky coach Tubby Smith once coached at SEC rival Georgia. Georgia shares the nickname Bulldog with Jerry Dunn, the coach at Penn State. Penn State”s former coach Bruce Parkhill was happy to leave for an assistant job at Ohio State. Ohio State”s Jim O”Brien was the former coach of Boston College. Boston College coach Gary Williams now coaches for Maryland. Maryland”s former coach Lefty Dreisell is now coaching at Georgia State. Georgia State”s Shernard Long is a transfer from Georgetown. Georgetown”s Kenny Bruener transferred to Fresno State. Fresno State”s former center Avondre Jones transferred from Southern Cal. Southern Cal coach Henry Bibby is the father of former star Mike Bibby of Arizona. Arizona”s Luke Walton is the brother of Nate Walton, who plays at Princeton. Princeton squared for the the lacrosse “game of the decade” in 1992 with Syracuse. Syracuse alum Donovan McNabb now resides in Philadelphia, home of St. Joseph”s.
St. Joseph”s Alexendre Sazanov is from Moscow, Russia, and the Reds play in Cincinnati, home of Xavier.
Xavier Skip Prosser interviewed for the head coaching job at Notre Dame. Notre Dame”s Ryan Humphrey was a transfer from Oklahoma. Oklahoma”s Jameel Heywood is majoring in communications as is Rashaan Johnson of Monmouth. Monmouth”s Tom Kaplan is from Tel Aviv, Israel, but does not attend Temple. Temple junior Alex Wesby attended a high school named after Ben Franklin, who discovered electricity, and the Golden Flashes play at Kent. “Kent” can be found in Western “Kent”ucky. Western Kentucky, so it would seem, is in the opposite direction of Eastern Illinois. Eastern Illinois assistant Steve Weemer coaches summer camps at Illinois. Illinois coach Bill Self was an assistant at Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State”s Melvin Sanders is from Liberal, Kan., and everybody knows there is no school more liberal that Cal. Cal shares the Golden Bear nickname with Jack Nicklaus, who is being compared to Tiger Woods, who went to Stanford. Stanford”s nickname is a tree, which would probably feel at home at Wake Forest. Wake Forest is in Winston-Salem, not to be confused with Salem, Mass., where witches were warded off with a Holy Cross. Holy Cross is in the Patriot League, and a patriot who modeled the Bill of Rights was George Mason. George Mason is located in the Washington, D.C. area, former home of Jeff Ruland, current coach of Iona. I own a pirate hat, and so does the mascot of Hampton. Hampton. Hampton is in Hampton, much like Northridge is in Northridge. Northridge, Calif. is only 24 miles from Los Angeles, home of UCLA. UCLA coach Steve Lavin may very well be the long lost twin brother of Billy Donovan, the coach at Florida. Florida got coach Donovan from Providence.
And Providence is the school which Leland Anderson now attends transferring only last year from the University of Michigan.
So, logically, Michigan is just one year away from the Big Dance.
Many, many thanks to the Daily basketball beat and my editors for their patience. David Den Herder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.