All hail the pocket protector brigade!
Two days after the University of the Sciences beat Drexel in Philadelphia, one day after Yale topped Connecticut in Storrs, New Jersey Institute of Technology might have pulled off the biggest shocker since Chaminade topped Ralph Sampson and Virginia more than 30 years ago.
The Highlanders topped No. 17 Michigan 72-70 -- in Ann Arbor.
Forget this being NJIT's first win against a ranked opponent; it’s the first time the school has played a top 25 program.
The school, which is billed as among the best in the fields of solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design and tissue engineering, became a full-fledged Division I member in 2006.
Since then, it had amassed all of 76 wins heading into Crisler Arena.
From February 2007 to January 2009, NJIT lost every single game it played, a 51-game record-setting streak of futility.
So how does this happen? How does Michigan, a team that gave Villanova all it could handle two weeks ago, that just topped Syracuse on Tuesday night, that came into the game as a 24.5 point favorite, fall to a team that already lost twice this year to UMass-Lowell?
The same way these things usually happen: a lazy and lousy effort on the part of the favored team, and an inspired game from the underdog.
Truth is, Michigan didn’t deserve to win this game.
The Wolverines played ol' defense, especially on the perimeter. NJIT shot 58.7 percent from the floor and a blistering 64.7 percent from the arc.
They let Damon Lynn hit the winner and drain six 3-pointers.
Why, you ask, is that such an offense? Well, last season Lynn drained 107 treys. That ranked him fourth in the nation. This season, he had already hit 20 in the four games before Michigan.
Maybe step out on him?
Offensively, take away Caris LeVert and his 32 points, Michigan was 12-of-36 from the floor, 5-of-16 from the arc.
But really, blame human nature. Coaches and players all like to say they take every game one game at a time, and blah, blah, blah.
Let’s be serious. Having just come off the big game against Syracuse and with a date against Arizona slated for next week, there is no way the Wolverines gave NJIT the same sort of attention. There are 350 teams playing Division I basketball. Even with all of the conference reshuffling, only one is still left out in the cold, orphaned with no league, and that’s NJIT.
By the time Michigan realized it was time to get it in gear, it was too late.
The upset was in the books, and the rise of the pocket protector brigade continued.