Nobody! Or actually I take that back...Tommy Amaker cares about the NIT. Atleast that's what he made it sound like at his press conference yesterday. He said it was a "great honor to be invited back to the NIT". Lester Abram had a far more relevant quote concerning the magic that is the NIT:
"It's not like we're going to go out there and lose on purpose -- whatever happens, happens," captain Lester Abram said. "You're happy you're still playing, but nobody wants to play in the NIT. It's something you have to do, though."
But you know what is even more depressing about this whole situation: The Selection Committee released a list of 31 teams that didn't make the Tournament who were under consdiration. Guess who wasn't on there: Yep, Michigan.
Another interesting stat: there were 104 teams in Division 1 who finished with 20 or more wins. Yet when asked yesterday if he thought his non-conference schedule was adequate Tommy responded by listing off how Central Conn St and Miami (OH) made the NCAA Tournament, not to mention his 3 minute ramble about what a solid team Delaware State is. This guy really has no clue. Yeah your schedule included NCAA Tourny teams like Davidson, Conn St, and Miami (OH), but beating those teams does nothing for your RPI. To be exact there non-conference strength of schedule was ranked 95th in the country. Clearly they aren't exactly playing juggernauts. Maybe with a couple more opportunities against quality opponents the Wolverines could have pulled off an upset at home or something.
But the worst part about his press conference yesterday was this quote from Tommy: "I think our program has made tremendous progress the past few years. I would figure I'm not in the majority on that."
Yeah no shit Sherlock. Your team has been stagnant ever since you won that NIT title back in '03. It's as if this guy lives in a parallel universe where he just doesn't know what's going on. To make matters worse, his players will defend him to death, saying that it's their fault the team sucks. That's partly true, but through his 6 years there have been a ton of talent yet none of it seems to translate onto the court. That's bad coaching. I really hope they lose tonight to Utah State because I have a feeling that it will be the nail in the coffin for the atrocity that has been the Amaker Era.