Michigan Wolverines 2013 Champs T-shirts Were Available Mere Hours After NCAA Vacated Louisville Title
Owing to my allegiance to the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, I considered almost sacrilegious the 2001 decision by Rick Pitino, who had guided the Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA title, to assume the head coaching position at the University of Louisville. Therefore, I let the latter school’s 2013 coronation as the tournament titlists irk me, but, yesterday, nearly five years after the Cardinals’ crown-sealing win over the University of Michigan, the NCAA vacated their championship, citing the fruits of an investigation that had analyzed 2011-2015 dormitory parties involving players and recruits. In learning of the news, a Wolverines’ fan blog immediately teamed with BreakingT to honor the runners-up as the proper victor.
The 2013 title tilt was a classic, with the Kentucky-situated favorites scoring an 82-76 triumph in the Georgia Dome. The game, however, contained a touch of controversy, as many observers, including a sizeable contingent of Michigan inhabitants, felt that officials should not have called a foul on star guard Trey Burke as he defended fellow sniper Peyton Siva with the Cardinals up 63-60. To those folks (and maybe even this author), that call changed the complexion of the contest and stalled Michigan’s momentum.
🚨 NEW 🏀 SHIRT 🏀 ALERT 🚨
— BreakingT (@BreakingT) February 20, 2018
Losing championship games can certainly stick with a fan base, so even though this year’s club holds the No. 17 ranking and a 22-7 record ahead of tonight’s visit to Penn State, many backers are still bothered by what they feel was a terrible refereeing decision. That angst serves as the quoted inspiration behind the BreakingT shirt, which declares “The block was clean” just below the declaration National Champs Men’s Basketball 2013.
I must say the novelty item made me chuckle. Bearing the Wolverines’ famous blue and yellow hues, it rightfully refrains from mentioning Michigan anywhere, as doing so would have made the powers that be guilty of a falsehood—the NCAA, in vacating Louisville’s accomplishments and all victories from the aforementioned period when the dormitory incidents occurred, is considering 2013 devoid of a champion. Regardless of the lack of an actual winner, the entire matter, along with finding Michigan taking a swipe at the expense of Louisville, which had already been embroiled in one controversy, is allowing the Wolverines family to engage in altruism, as Maize N Brew’s share of the T-shirts’ profits will end up as a donation to the ChadTough Foundation, which aids the fight against pediatric brain tumors.
Michigan, despite an SBNation plea, will not be lifting a banner as the 2013 NCAA Tournament vanquisher, but the selflessness that the institution’s hoops fan blog is showing deserves kudos as a rewarding example of how promotional products can do far more than earn a few bucks for their originators. In that regard, the Wolverines are more than de facto champions; they are actual winners.