Gut reactions after an ugly season ends for Michigan basketball

The Michigan basketball team ended the season 8-24 and here are the gut reactions to the most disappointing season in recent memory.
Michigan v Penn State
Michigan v Penn State / David Berding/GettyImages

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I'm a diehard Michigan basketball fan. I have been since the days of the Fab Five when I was around 5-6 six years old.

So it was really weird to almost want Michigan basketball to lose on Wednesday night. Of course, I actually wanted them to win in the Big Ten tournament and keep their season alive. I loved watching Terrance Williams get them within four in the second half. For a brief moment, I thought we might see them on Thursday.

Yet, if I'm honest with myself, I'm sort of glad it's over. I can't stand any more Michigan basketball games this season. It's been too long and too arduous.

Watching the Wolverines has been like watching a slow death, especially if you followed during the John Beilein era. It's crazy that six years ago, Michgan played for a national championship.

Even two years ago, the Wolverines made their fifth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. That's what elite programs do. The trajectory was headed in the right direction. Now, the program has fallen off a cliff.

Juwan Howard having heart surgery didn't help things. I believe Michigan's record would be better if that didn't happen. But roster construction is the biggest problem for the Wolverines right now. Howard is a solid coach. With good players, he can build a good offense. He's proven capable of game-planning in the NCAA tournament (where he won five games). He's coached some solid defenses too.

That makes the past two seasons hard to explain. The struggle to admit players from the transfer portal, especially if they underclassmen doesn't help. But you have to play the cards you're dealt, not ask for the dealer to hit on 18, then act surprised when you don't get Blackjack.

If Juwan returns, the coaching staff needs dramatic changes. Beilein essentially did the same thing and people forget he was on the hot seat a couple of times during his Michigan tenure. Yet, he improved the staff and the defense. Michigan got back to the national title game.

It's possible. If you don't believe it, look at Fred Hoiberg. He won nine games two years ago at Nebraska. At the moment, the Huskers have 22 wins and are a lock to make the NCAA tournament. That wouldn't have happened if Hoiberg left or was fired, so at times, the best moves are the ones that you don't make.

But the mood appears to be changing with Warde Manuel and it feels like this program is beyond saving with Juwan Howard. We'll see what happens, but I hope that either way, there is clarity sooner rather than later.