Michigan baseball defeats Illinois 5-3, advances to Big Ten Tournament championship game

May 23, 2015 by  
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Michigan baseball upset No. 4 Illinois on Saturday to advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship game.

Quite like the softball team, it's Michigan baseball's turn to make noise in postseason play and are on the cusp of a NCAA Tournament appearance.

Saturday's 5-3 victory over Illinois, who had a 27-game winning streak snapped two days ago, helps advance Michigan to the Big Ten Tournament championship game against Maryland. The last NCAA Tournament appearance by the baseball was squad was in 2008, which was also the last time the Wolverines won a conference tournament championship.

Junior Jacob Cronenworth opened up the scoring for the Wolverines in the second inning after a two out, bases loaded single to center field brought in two runs.

Cronenworth also made a highlight reel play in the third inning:

Michigan's two-run lead would be cut to one in the fourth inning after a double by Illini senior David Kerian scores junior catcher Jason Goldstein. The Illini would tied the game in the next inning after a junior Ryan Nagle RBI single. The sixth inning saw the Wolverines trailing after a Kerian home run.

In a back-and-forth affair, the sixth inning saw a total of four runs and two lead changes. To start off the scoring, Kerian would put Illinois out in front after a solo home run in the top of the inning made the score 3-2. To finish at the bottom of the inning, Michigan tied the game with Johnny Slater being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring a runner. Kendall Patrick grounding into a double-play that scored a runner to put the Wolverines in front for good. Cronenworth added an insurance run on an infield single that scored a runner.

Michigan will play Maryland on Sunday at 1 p.m. CDT on the Big Ten Network.

Michigan Softball Sweeps Georgia to Advance to Women’s College World Series

May 22, 2015 by  
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Michigan hangs on to advance to its 11th WCWS in the past 21 seasons.

The 2014-15 season was more than a disappointment for Michigan's three most popular sports -- with Michigan football, basketball, and ice hockey all failing to participate in the postseason in the same season for the first time since 1973 -- but Michigan softball -- the fourth-most popular sport -- is picking up the slack.

One night after No. 3 seed Michigan overpowered No. 14 seed Georgia, 10-3, in Game 1 of their best-of-three Super Regional series, the Wolverines eked past the Bulldogs, 7-6, in Game 2 to complete the sweep and advance to the Women's College World Series. This is the second time in the last three seasons and 11th time in the last 21 under head coach Carol Hutchins that Michigan will appear in the NCAA Women's College World Series.

Right fielder Kelsey Susalla and pitcher Haylie Wagner propelled Michigan to the Game 2 win. Susalla was 3-for-4, crossing the plate three times and tallying two RBI with a solo shot in the second inning and a double down the left field line in the fifth. Wagner contributed on the rubber and with the bat in her hands. She extinguished most of Georgia's threats, allowing two earned runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out six batters, and gave herself run support by launching a home run in the fourth.

Unlike last night in Game 1 when Michigan scored four first-inning runs and never looked back, it was Georgia that had the hot start in Game 2. The Wolverines went down 1-2-3 in the top half of the first before starting pitcher Megan Betsa, who dominated the Bulldogs with 10 strikeouts in the Game 1 win, surrendered a solo shot and a two-run line-drive home run to Georgia in the bottom half to put Michigan in an early 3-0 hole.

But Michigan didn't dig itself any deeper. Wagner relieved Betsa to get the final out of the first, and that's when Michigan's bats went to work. Susalla opened the top of the second with her bomb, and Michigan would score in all but one of the game's final six innings, posting seven runs and 10 hits, to take a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

The last half-inning had its drama, though. A two-run, two-out Georgia home run cut Michigan's lead to just one, and the Bulldogs put the tying run on base when the next batter singled. Hutchins decided to make a change and reinserted Betsa to close out the game that she exited in the first inning. With a full count, Betsa forced the Georgia hitter to pop up to second baseman Sierra Romero, and the celebration at Alumni Field began.

Michigan is the first team to clinch their bid in the 2015 Women's College World Series. The eight-team, double-elimination tournament, which will decide the school that is crowned the NCAA softball champion, will begin on Thursday, May 28, 2015, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There, Michigan will try to win its second-ever national title.

Michigan with 33/1 Odds to Win 2015-16 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship

May 22, 2015 by  
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The way-too-early odds for the 2015-16 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship are out. Place your bets!

Michigan has 33/1 odds, meaning a winning $100 bet would pay $3,300, to win the 2015-16 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, according to odds that Bovada has just released. Michigan's 33/1 odds are tied for the 16th-best among all D-I basketball schools and tied for the fourth-best among Big Ten schools.

This seems to fall in line with how many project Michigan basketball will perform next season with the healthy return of Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton, the late-season progress from Zak Irvin, Aubrey Dawkins, Spike Albrecht, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, an offseason of development by Ricky Doyle, Kam Chatman, and Mark Donnal, and the additions of D.J. Wilson, Duncan Robinson, and Moritz Wagner to the hardwood.

Here are the 25 D-I basketball schools with the best odds to win the championship:

Bovada's Odds to Win 2015-16 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship (Top 25 Schools)
Rank School Odds
1 Maryland 9/1
t-2 Duke 10/1
t-2 Kentucky 10/1
t-2 North Carolina 10/1
t-5 Kansas 16/1
t-5 Michigan State 16/1
t-7 Arizona 20/1
t-7 California 20/1
t-7 Iowa State 20/1
t-7 Virginia 20/1
t-11 Gonzaga 25/1
t-11 Indiana 25/1
t-11 Villanova 25/1
t-11 Wichita State 25/1
15 Oklahoma 28/1
t-16 Michigan 33/1
t-16 Purdue 33/1
18 Louisville 40/1
t-19 LSU 50/1
t-19 Notre Dame 50/1
t-19 Ohio State 50/1
t-19 Syracuse 50/1
t-19 Texas 50/1
t-19 Texas A&M 50/1
t-19 UConn 50/1
t-19 Utah 50/1
t-19 Wisconsin 50/1

Here are the odds for Big Ten schools:

Bovada's Odds to Win 2015-16 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship (Big Ten Schools)
Rank School Odds
1 Maryland 9/1
2 Michigan State 16/1
3 Indiana 25/1
t-4 Michigan 33/1
t-4 Purdue 33/1
t-6 Ohio State 50/1
t-6 Wisconsin 50/1
t-8 Illinois 100/1
t-8 Iowa 100/1
10 Minnesota 300/1
t-11 Nebraska 500/1
t-11 Penn State 500/1
t-13 Northwestern N/A
t-13 Rutgers N/A

There are two important reminders. The first and most obvious is that these odds are very early as the 2015-16 men's basketball season doesn't begin for another six months. The second is that Bovada and other sportsbooks set these odds to optimize their return on the prop bet, not to list who's actually the first-, second-, and third-favorite and so on.

Do you think the odds Bovada gave Michigan to win the 2015-16 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship are spot on, too low, or too high?

  27 votes | Results

Before the corpse cools a degree: A prevailing wage repeal love story

May 22, 2015 by  
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The crazies send a message to our benevolent overlord Rick Michigan.

A group has submitted initiated legislation to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law and bypass a potential veto from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Protecting Michigan Taxpayers announced Thursday the submission of a citizen initiative to the state election board. If the group collects roughly 252,000 valid signatures, the bill will go to the Republican-led Legislature. If lawmakers pass the legislation, the governor could not veto it. If legislators do not act or reject the bill, it would be put to a statewide votein 2016.
As if anything like a gubernatorial veto was ever going to stop these people. Vandals never listen to reason. 


Friday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Top prospects including U-M in trimmed lists of schools

May 22, 2015 by  
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In this edition, a pair of 2016 targets have included Michigan in their top eight schools and the latest scholarship offers.

As we inch closer and closer to the summer, recruiting for the 2016 cycle should pick up in the next few weeks or so. We are starting to see some of the top targets on the board narrow down their respective lists of schools, and a pair of players Michigan has been keeping an eye on did so on Thursday.

Defensive tackle Jordan Elliott (Houston, Texas) and outside linebacker Lamar Winston (Portland, Oregon), both four-star prospects, revealed their top eight schools via Twitter.

Elliott is a name to keep an eye on more so than Winston. It is very possible that Michigan takes two defensive tackles in this class with the nation's top player Rashan Gary (Paramus, New Jersey) filling one of those spots. I believe Elliott is one of the more likely candidates to do so.

Winston will be a tough pull from the West coast, but it is worth noting that Michigan is the only school in his top eight that is not from the Pac-12. This is a staff that has a lot of ties to that region of the country and we will see if that pays off in his recruitment.

Busy week for offensive line offers

Throughout the last couple of months of Michigan football recruiting has seen certain themes and patterns develop in terms of the players being offered at certain positions. This week, a large emphasis has been placed on the offensive line, particularly in the 2017 class.

The Wolverines offered a pair of five-star recruits this week at offensive tackle in Foster Sarell (Graham, Washington) and Wyatt Davis (Bellflower, California), who are ranked third and sixth at their positions per the 247 Composite, respectively.

Another 2017 offensive tackle offered was Henry Bainivalu (Seattle, Washington) as the staff made its way through the Northwest part of the United States.

Bainivalu is a four-star prospect and the 12th-ranked offensive tackle in the class, per the 247 Composite.

We are still about two years away from National Signing Day 2017, but it is never too early (apparently) to look ahead to the 2018 class, as the Wolverines did when they offered offensive tackle Brey Walker (Moore, Oklahoma), according to 247's Steve Lorenz. (FREE)

It is still early, but many expect Walker to be a top-ranked player at his position in the 2018 class. Michigan has swooped in with an early offer, so we will see if that pays off over the next three years or so.

Wide receivers a need, too

In the nearer future, Michigan has a need for playmakers at wide receiver for 2016, so they are turning every stone over across the nation to find guys that can give them an explosive threat in the passing game.

The latest wide receiver offer went out to Chase Claypool (Abbotsford, British Columbia), according to Demetric Warren of Varsity Preps.

Claypool is a three-star prospect and the 172nd-ranked wide receiver in the 2016 class, per the 247 Composite.

That's it for Friday. Check back in Monday for the latest Michigan football recruiting news from over the weekend.

Michigan Football Recruiting: Pair of top ’17 OL from Washington offered

May 21, 2015 by  
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The Wolverines offered two of 2017's top offensive lineman while making the rounds through the state of Washington on Thursday

The Michigan football coaching staff has been busy this week spreading out and offering prospects throughout the entire country. Thursday, the staff made its way through the state of Washington and offered a pair of the 2017 class' top offensive lineman.

The biggest, and least surprising offer, went to Foster Sarell (Graham, Washington). This is an offer many expected to come sooner or later for awhile.

Sarell is a five-star prospect and the third-ranked player at his position in the class, per the 247 Composite.

The other offensive tackle offered was Henry Bainivalu (Seattle, Washington), per his Twitter account.

Bainivalu is a four-star prospect and the 12th-ranked offensive tackle in the class, per the 247 Composite.

Michigan has made the offensive line a huge priority on the trail as Jim Harbaugh's staff tries to build depth at all positions. Development at those positions will be key to the turnaround in Ann Arbor.

Dylan Larkin is Leaving Michigan Hockey

May 21, 2015 by  
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Larkin has signed a three-year ELC with the Detroit Red Wings.

After one of the most prolific freshman campaigns in program history, Dylan Larkin has elected to forgo the remainder of his college career and turn pro. Larkin, who had 15 goals and 47 points in just 35 games, joins Andrew Copp on the list of major subtractions heading into next season.

"My year at Michigan has been the best year of my life, the most fun year of hockey I've ever had," Larkin told MGoBlue. "Going to one of the best universities in the world and having fun with my classmates, it will be tough missing out on what they're going to accomplish. On the other note, I have a chance to live out the dream of my life, and I'm really excited about it. I think it's a great opportunity. I really feel like I'm ready for this challenge."

"In Dylan's year with Michigan, he proved to be one of most talented players in college hockey," said Michigan head coach Red Berenson. "We knew this was a tough decision for Dylan, but we also anticipated that this might happen. I hope that Dylan continues on a path to graduate from the university while preparing for a long career in the National Hockey League."

Larkin, the Waterford, MI native was drafted 15th overall by the Red Wings last June. He will join the Grand Rapids Griffins in time for their Western Conference Final matchup against the Utica Comets.

We will have more information on this story as it develops.

Thursday Morning Brews (5/21/15)

May 21, 2015 by  
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Hitting the Links Is Scared of Titanoboas

All-Urban Meyer Team

This was a great exercise. Also, this team is terrifying.

How Harbaugh Is Changing Recruiting - Again

This is a must-read. Ben Axelrod talks about Michigan's upcoming QB camp.

What Does Florida State Get From Everett Golson?

Golson has struggled more than most at handling pressure in the pocket, and Florida State is revamping their line. But Golson also has a proven track record in big moments, just like Winston.

SI Piece on Harbaugh

This was really well done.

B1G Might Change Time Obligations For Players"Not The Minor Leagues"

This is much more realistic and helpful round of ideas than freshman ineligibility. Also, the second link is more basketball-centric, but it gives a face to some of the push-back against athletics in the Big Ten.

Brett Favre Will Play Flag Football At Camp Randall

The Big Ten is entertaining, in a way it wasn't a little while ago.

Recruiting Staff News, Other Updates

This was an interesting read about some goings-on in Michigan's athletic department.

2015 Projected Depth Chart

What stands out is the depth at certain spots - third-string Bryan Mone, fourth-string Mo Hurst, fourth-string Drake Johnson, second-string Ben Gedeon. Depth charts will be less useful this year, though, with Harbaugh mixing and matching the right pieces to get as much talent on the field as he can. Henry Poggi, Chase Winovich, and Royce Jenkins-Stone will see the field in some capacity.

SB Nation Preview: Indiana

Bill Connelly talks about a number of things that have gotten some air time here before - from Indiana's make-or-break season to the impressive but challenging work Kevin Wilson has handled. Also: Nate Sudfeld is an unknown quantity in some respects, since he was injured in '14 and shared quarterback duties with Tre Roberson in 2013. But in his career, he has a 34-13 touchdown ratio and has never had a season below a 60% completion rate.

SB Nation Preview: Purdue

This wasn't discussed in this preview, but no matter who wins Purdue's quarterback battle - Danny Etling or Austin Appleby - Purdue will have the worst quarterback in the Big Ten. Both struggled mightily a year ago.

Laviano vs. Rettig

On The Banks looks at Rutgers' spring game, and sums up how the QB battle looks right now.

SB Nation Preview: Notre Dame

Folston doesn't get the attention, but he is turning into one of the better running backs in the nation. Four of his five 100-yard games came in the second half of last year.

The Rise of Australian Punting

There will be four Australian punters in the Big Ten next year.

Mike Slive Q&A

This was a good look behind the curtains at one of the game's more influential figures over the last decade.

Michigan's Strengths and Weaknesses

This is horse meat to some extent, but that's to be expected during the off-season. Also, Michigan's pass rush concerns - which this preview emphasizes - are a bit overblown with a three-man front and Michigan's fabulous D-line. The passing game and even depth in the secondary are at least as pressing.

ACC: Most Meaningful Moments From 2014...Big Ten...Big 12

This was a good look at the storylines that dominate each conference and where they began.

3 years since I made The Escape: What I’ve learned

May 21, 2015 by  
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Today marks exactly three years since the day I walked into my boss’s office and told him I was putting in my two weeks…and that I was too busy to actually give him two weeks so I would be done the following day.

I tend to be a very decisive person. When I want something I go after it at full speed figuring out everything as I go. I felt so stifled and boxed-in at my job I could not wait to leave. And so I didn’t think much about what it would be like day to day until after the fact.

I didn’t have a grand plan of building a six-figure business. I didn’t really have a plan at all. I thought I’d be living off of $30 or $40k a year, just getting by, happy to finally be working on projects I actually enjoyed. My plan was: get enough clients and sell enough blog templates to be able to pay my mortgage and not lose my house.

So this year it was actually a surprise to find I’m now making significantly more than my $50k per year corporate salary. I actually stood alone in my kitchen a few weeks ago, having just looked over my spreadsheets for the month, stopping short of making dinner and had one of those tearful ‘holy fuck’ moments over what I had unintentionally accomplished.

It is really a strange feeling to realize I’ve hit that mark of success. I’ve left my job, I’ve grown my business, and I’ve put myself in a better place mentally, creatively, and financially than I’d ever be in working for someone else. And I think a lot of you not only helped contribute to that moment, but can also understand it as well, even if you haven’t made the escape yet. You understand the amount of work that goes in to building something all on your own. The determination and commitment it takes to start a business from nothing. It is the best high there is, betting on yourself.

So now three years into this whole small business, self-employed, solopreneur thing, I want to share some things I’ve learned along the way.

If you’re new here, here’s the entire story of how I made my escape, and my posts from year one and year two.

Value based pricing

One of the things that contributed to the jump in income this year this was adjusting my pricing and focusing more on the value my work provides clients instead of how many hours it takes to deign and build a website. I have a rough idea of how long it takes, but I haven’t tracked my hours in at least a year.

Reading this ebook really helped to cement this idea for me. Not only does my adjusted pricing help me feel well compensated for my work, but I never find myself counting hours or keeping track of how much I’ve done for a project. My work is now focused on the end goal—whatever it is the client is hoping to accomplish with a site re-design—and it’s my job to help get them there.

Using passive income to pad my business

One of the major issues almost every small business owner, freelancer, and solopreneur faces when leaving a corporate job is, money. Paranoia over continuously having enough clients or customers is the biggest worry and it does not have to be.

I’m so thankful that I figured out early on to pad my business with income from programs and products (any that you all thought they were awesome enough to buy!) Now if I were to have a month without clients (or give myself a month off) there is still money coming in.

And because info products and passive income are such an important part of growing and stabilizing my business, this will be the topic of my upcoming ebook! Yes, next month I’m going to share all the goods on creating passive income so you’ll never have to panic over getting clients again.

Learning marketing and sales strategy

This was one of those important things I didn’t really consider researching before I left my job. Yes, I successfully sold products through my website without much of a plan, but I sold more products when I actually created a sales page and launched a marketing plan. Understanding the proper way to do this has taken (and is still taking) time to learn. This course from Tara Gentile was super helpful in re-working the Babes website and sales emails.

Planning yearly

Now that I have a steady stream of clients and a handful if products I’ve been able to slow down a bit and I’m planning projects and products over a year instead of just starting them whenever an idea pops up. This way I avoid feeling overwhelmed by everything I want to do because it all finds a space in my schedule.

I do still put in a massive number of hours each week, but it’s now because I’m excited and working on multiple projects at once (my own and my clients’) and not because I’m paranoid that if I stop for even a minute my blog traffic and bank account will drain to zero over night. For those of you in the thick of it, that feeling does eventually fade!

Paying quarterly taxes

File under advice I never took, but should have. Eventually tax time will come around and yes, you are going to have to fork over 30 percent of your income (in the US). So, if you make $40,000 this year, you will owe around $12,000 next April (depending on the number of deductions you have). I guarantee you are going to want to throw up a little when that number appears and you haven’t paid anything in advance. So if you still need to get your shit together, June is the end of second quarter and I highly recommend sending the government some money. (quarterly tax forms for individuals, more small biz & self employment forms)

Saying no to things I don’t enjoy

Don’t ever do things out of fear. Ever. Whether it’s the fear that you’ll never land another client (you will), that you won’t be able to pay next month’s bills (you will), that an opportunity like that won’t come around again (it will). If you say yes because you are worried or afraid it will almost always turn into a stressful situation. I generally have a pretty strong immediate yes or no gut reaction to almost everything, but if you’re not getting that, then only say yes if it’s a “Hell Yes!” otherwise just say no. This is prevent you from working with clients from hell or getting sucked into projects you’re not that excited about.

So if you’re reading this at your desk right now at a job you just don’t love (or maybe eating lunch in your car dreading the thought of going back into work—I did that often) please know that this is possible for you. Yes, it takes a massive amount of work, but putting in the time to create something of your own is worth it. And it won’t always be filled with insane 24/7 stressful non-stop days. If you have an idea of what you want to create, but you’re feeling stuck or scared in making the leap, leave a comment and let’s get you on the right track!

And lastly, thank you to each and every one of you who has left a comment, sent me an email or a tweet, purchased one of my books, blog themes, or a consulting session, joined the Badass Babes, hired me to design your website, watched a webinar, allowed me into your inbox every Monday, shared my posts, projects, or products, or just read my little blog. Without you there is no XO Sarah, so I truly appreciate all the support you’ve sent my way.


Broome and Henschke Show: The SEC v. Jim Harbaugh continues

May 20, 2015 by  
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In this edition of the show, we discuss tailgate foods, a possible transfer situation and more of Jim Harbaugh ruffling feathers across the nation.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Joshua Henschke and myself do a podcast for Wolverine Sports Radio, as some of you may already know. We will now be posting these here at Maize n Brew.

On this edition of the show, we discuss the ideal tailgating spread, more alleged drama between Guz Malzahn and Jim Harbaugh and a situation where U-M's new head football coach "Jim Schwartzed" Rick Neuheisel while he was at UCLA.

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