EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 3, 2013

Title SHOWDOWN: Michigan vs. Syracuse

Local alums make their case for their favorite basketball team

By Bill Burt


AGE: 32

FAMILY: Single


OCCUPATION: Math Teacher at Andover High School (Girls’ varsity tennis coach and boys’ JV basketball coach at AHS)


MAJOR: Psychology

WHY DID YOU ATTEND MICHIGAN?: I wanted a school not on the east coast with good academics and good sports teams. University of Michigan fit that criteria.

WHAT DID YOU LIKE/LOVE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE THERE?: Ann Arbor was a great college town. There were so many things to do. I met some unbelievable people and made many life-long friends. I couldn’t imagine attending any other school.

DID YOU ATTEND BASKETBALL GAMES?: Yes. I had season tickets my freshman year. At the end of my freshman year, I applied to become a student assistant/manager and got the job. For my last three years, I attended every home game and traveled with the team to a number of road games. My senior year I worked for Coach Tommy Amaker, who is now the head coach at Harvard.

TELL ME A FAVORITE HOOP-RELATED MEMORY AT MICHIGAN?: My favorite hoop-related memory at UM would be playing “HORSE” after practice with (now LA Clippers guard) Jamal Crawford. He was the most-creative and best “HORSE” player I’ve ever encountered.

WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND MICHIGAN TO HIGH SCHOOLERS?: Michigan has a combination of outstanding academics and athletics teams. There are a plethora of opportunities to take advantage of at an institution like the University of Michigan. World-renowned professors and nationally-ranked academic programs. A great campus life and Ann Arbor is second to none in terms of college towns. UM has one of the largest living alumni networks in the country. Wherever I go, I seem to encounter someone who went to UM or knows someone who did.

WHERE WILL YOU WATCH GAMES ON SATURDAY?: Buffalo Wild Wings with my brother David and a few other friends.

WHY DO YOU THINK MICHIGAN WILL WIN?: Coach John Beilein, one of the great strategists in college basketball, will have a a great game plan, especially vs. Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. Michigan will win because they have the best player in the country in Trey Burke, athletic guys on the wing in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III, and one of the best shooters in the country in Nik Stauskas. Mitch McGary is a difference-maker in the paint since he has been inserted in the starting lineup. The key to the game is Michigan’s ability to get stops on defense and to get out in transition where they really excel. Even though we haven’t seen it much in this tournament, I think Michigan will have a lot of success playing some 1-3-1 zone on Saturday.

University of Michigan facts Motto: Arts, Knowledge and Truth Established: 1817 in Detroit Located: Ann Arbor, Mich. Moved there in 1837, the same year Michigan became a state Campus locations: Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint Schools and colleges: Ann Arbor, 19; Dearborn, 4; Flint, 5 Total enrollment: est. 60,000 Sports nickname: Wolverines School colors: Maize & Blue Website: www.umich.edu Endowment: $8 billion US News & World Report ranking: 29th Living alumni: 500,000 Famous alums: Bill Ayers, anti-war activist Tom Brady, NFL quarterback Gerald Ford , US president H.H. Holmes, serial killer Lisa Liu, actress Madonna, entertainer Authur Miller, playwright Mike Wallace, journalist Did you know ... That while Michigan is often called the "Wolverine State," there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan.