LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- I posed a question about the University of Michigan's improbable, remarkable, undeniable surge into the finals of the College World Series on Twitter Monday.
What I received (among other happy returns) was a bit of blowback that University of Louisville fans are not gaga about Vanderbilt, the Wolverines' final round opponent in Omaha.
I filed that as a good thing.
Louisville baseball fans care. Vanderbilt has become a rival. If Vanderbilt is a rival, your program has earned its spot on the national stage.
But back to the business at hand.
After defeating Vanderbilt 7-4 at TD Ameritrade Stadium Monday night, the Wolverines are one victory from doing something that makes Big Ten football teams quiver:
Toppling the best team in the mighty Southeastern Conference and winning the national title. It could happen Tuesday or Wednesday night in this best-of-three series.
And if it does happen …
… it would be comparable to (Fill in the Blank) winning the men's NCAA basketball title or (Fill in another Blank) winning the college football playoff.
Take a few minutes and think about it. Not as easy answer, is it?
Remember: We are talking about 20-loss Michigan, a team that carried 200-to-1 odds from Las Vegas into the tournament.
We talking about a Michigan team that finished behind Indiana in the Big Ten -- and also failed to win its conference tournament.
We are talking about a team that, as a No. 3 seed, has not played a single post-season game at home -- in a sport where playing tournament games at home is a big deal.
We are talking about a team that lost two of three against Indiana as well as a mid-May game against Kentucky.
We are talking about a team representing a cold-weather conference that has not won the Division I baseball title in 53 years.
We are talking about Giacomo or Mine That Bird or Buster Douglas or the New York Jets.
You don't see this in the sport Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney rule every fall. You don't see this in college basketball, even in these days when Villanova and Virginia have interrupted the reign of North Carolina and Duke.
Yes, baseball had Coastal Carolina win it all three years ago. Even though Coastal is not a brand name, the Chanticleers were a No. 2 seed that had won the Southern Conference and appeared in the NCAA Tournament one year earlier.
Michigan is not Coastal Carolina. Michigan is Loyola Marymount, Central Michigan or Illinois State. Those were some of the other No. 3 seed when this baseball tournament began.
This does not happen in football or basketball. Especially football.
Georgia Tech and Colorado splitting the 1990 national title wasn't something predicted in Tuscaloosa and South Bend.
Brigham Young's disputed 1984 championship deserves a look. Ditto for Howard Schnellenberger moving that Miami was a national player in 1983.
That's a solid list.
But this is different. In football you can schedule yourself into position for success. Typically you have to win your conference, but in the days of Colorado, Georgia Tech, BYU and Miami you only had to win one post-season game.
Michigan has won nine post-season games and the Wolverines will get the all-clear for a dog pile if they win No. 10.
Michigan was the No. 3 seed in the Corvallis Regional, which means the Wolverines started their journey in the park of the defending national champions, who were led by the No. 1 pick (catcher Adley Rutschman) in the major league baseball free agent draft.
A three-seed in the 64-team baseball tournament translates to a No. 9, 10, 11 or 12 seed in the men's basketball tournament.
This is the last time a team seeded No. 9 or lower made the men's basketball championship game: Never happened.
Not Loyola of Chicago. Not Syracuse (2016). Not Wichita State. Not VCU. Not George Mason.
Not LSU (1986). Not Penn -- in 1979, the first season the men's basketball tournament was seeded.
In 41 seasons, four teams seeded No. 6 or lower have won the men's title.
That would be UConn (No. 7 in 2014); Kansas (No. 6 in 1988); Villanova (No. 8 in 1985) and North Carolina State (No. 6 in 1983).
Now Michigan is 27 difficult outs from taking down a team ranked No. 1 in the RPI and the champion of a conference that put four teams in the College World Series.
If it happens, it would be the biggest upset in college sports since …
Think about it.
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