The Victory Lap
Eli Brooks refuses to graduate. Thank goodness. Also: Frankie Collins, Hunter Dickinson, another pick-and-roll wrinkle, women's hoops beats American and readies for Villanova.
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The Most Super Senior
Eli Brooks isn’t ready to leave college.
While most people take control of the situation by scheduling fewer credits or changing majors, Brooks is making big shot after big shot while captaining Michigan to their fifth Sweet Sixteen appearance in as many NCAA Tournaments.
Instead of making a Thursday afternoon run to the liquor store, Brooks hit a runner in traffic to give Michigan a two-possession lead against Colorado State after they’d been losing by as many as 15 points:
Rather than embark on a three-decade NBA 2K franchise project, Brooks sealed the first-round win with a signature pull-up jumper:
Brooks was on his game from the jump against Tennessee, drilling a three-pointer to open the scoring. He filled every column in the box score: 23 points, 7/9 on twos, 2/5 on threes, 3/3 at the line, three rebounds, five assists, a steal, and one spectacular block.
Brooks could’ve been throwing a frisbee on the Diag to mark the first good weather weekend of the year. Instead, he continued Michigan’s run back from a six-point second-half deficit with a tie-breaking and-one runner:
Brooks, who was decidedly not smoking weed in the Arb instead of attending lecture, saved his best for last. As the clock ticked down a minute with the Wolverines clinging to a two-point lead, he found himself isolated on Josiah-Jordan James, crossed over, hesitated, and created an opening with an inside-out dribble.
Already deep in his bag, Brooks channeled the spirit of Xavier Simpson to finish the play, arcing a skyhook over his 6’6 defender that tickled the rafters before falling through the hoop:
Eli Brooks isn’t at Rick’s, but he’s still dancing.
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