Despite 32 points from Caris LeVert, a preseason All-American candidate, Michigan lost 72-70, to the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Raise your hand if you saw that coming. We'll wait.
No hands? None? No one had faith in the KenPom predictor that had the Highlanders with a 3 percent chance of pulling this off?
Yeah, we didn't think so.
Pull it off they did. The Highlanders got 20 points from Damon Lynn, 18 of those coming from 3-point range, where the sophomore was 6-for-10. No, that sophomore wasn't intimidated by the Wolverines.
Or what about the 17 points and six rebounds from Ky Howard? No intimidation.
But what is most impressive is that when Michigan resorted to fouling late in the game to give themselves chances to get back in it, NJIT knocked down the free throws. Yes, there was a miss at the end, but it would have taken a long-distance shot of epic proportions to win it. All of that poise at the line despite getting just nine chances all game to take foul shots.
How epic is this?
- NJIT was 293 in Ken Pom to start the day. On Michigan's schedule, only Nicholls State was ranked lower. Michigan beat Nicholls State by 29 points.
- There are only 11 teams that are effectively smaller on the basketball court than NJIT. Yet in the final seconds, they were pit bulls going after the basketball on the offensive end after misses, forcing Michigan to foul in the final moments. The Highlanders and Wolverines each had 26 rebounds in this game. That should not happen.
- Michigan was a 24.5-point favorite in this one.
When the America East Conference wakes up and realizes that it should be calling the Highlanders, they need to realize the school comes with a new name. NJIT doesn't stand for the New Jersey Institute of Technology any longer.
It is now the:
NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TRIUMPH!— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) December 6, 2014