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Friday, March 16, 2012
No. 3 seed Michigan moves on

By Brian Bennett

The No. 3 seed in our Big Ten Champions Tournament, 1997 Michigan, got a closer game than I expected. Nevertheless, the Wolverines are moving on to the second round -- and a long, long overdue date with the 1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers -- after defeating 2005 Penn State with 58 percent of the vote.

Here are some comments from those who voted:
Robert R. from New York: 1997 Michigan because that was Carr's best team and Carr's worst team was still able to beat 2005 Penn State.

Mark D. from Saugerties, NY: 2005 PSU were true underdogs that year with low expectations from all "experts" and were 2 seconds away from at least some NC talks (still wouldv'e been SC & UT). Now underdogs in this bracket. Everyone loves the cinderella story!

Adam from Canton, Ill.: 2005 Penn State defense would have murdered Brian Griese. NO QUESTION! The only reason they lost the game against Michigan was that Lloyd Carr got a mysterious 2 seconds added back to the clock.

Joe from Walker, Mich: Michigan would win. Michigan's defense was amazing, even against a dual threat like Robinson. Michigan also has had their way with Penn State prior to the RichRod era. Great stuff...keep it up. Go Blue!

John from Midland, Mich.: I have never seen a defense as fast as this UM defense - including this year's Alabama defense - they were unbelievably fast to the ball. Also, in '05, PSU's loss was to UM, and in your article, you say that the '97 team was Lloyd's best. So if the '05 UM team was better than '05 PSU, how can the '97 team not be better?

Andrew from New York: Honestly, this game would look like almost all of the Michigan - Penn State games that occurred from '97 to '07 (all Michigan wins). Joe Pa would come out with a conservative game plan. Michigan would shut down the run, Michigan's defensive front would overwhelm Penn State's line, have the qb under constant pressure, force a couple of turnovers, and the Michigan offense would do just enough to maintain a healthy cushion. Or maybe it would have played out like it did in '97. 34-0 in Happy Valley until a late consolation TD.

Jack from State College: Clearly this 2005 Penn State team would beat the 1997 Michigan Wolverines. Penn State's defense was loaded as Tamba Hali, Paul Posluszny and Sean Lee are stars in the NFL right now. Dan Conner is doing pretty well in the NFL right now. Alan Zemitas was a very solid NFL cornerback. On offense quarterback Michael Robinson was one of the most dynamic players in the country. Tony Hunt had two 1000 yard seasons and was a third round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles. Our Wide Recievers, Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Justin King are all contributing in the NFL right now. This is not even close. 2005 Penn State would dominate that 97 Michigan team.

We have one more first-round game to go, and it's a pretty close one so far between 2006 Ohio State and 1998 Ohio State. I'll announce the winner of that game Monday morning, and then we'll look forward to the Final Four.