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Jalen Rose wants Chris Webber to finally apologize for Michigan problems

Jalen-Rose-Chris-Webber-MichiganChris Webber’s order to disassociate himself with Michigan ended last year, and the former Wolverines star forward took the big step of attending the school’s championship game against Louisville.

Despite Webber’s efforts, former Fab Five teammate Jalen Rose still feels like Webber needs to apologize to the school.

The Fab Five reached the NCAA championship game in each of their first two seasons (1992 and 1993). They were forced to vacate their Final Four appearances and wins after it was discovered that some of their players accepted money from booster Ed Martin, who died in 2003. Webber took over $200,000 from Martin and was the highest-profile player called to testify before a grand jury. Webber initially lied to the grand jury and was later convicted of perjury.

In an interview published by HoopsHype on Monday, Rose reiterated his belief that it’s time for Webber to apologize to the school.

Q: When was the last time you spoke with Chris Webber?

JR: I heard through mutual friends that he’s upset that I said that I feel like he should have come out and apologize for some transgressions that happened at the University of Michigan. But I still stand behind that. Also I’m disappointed how the relationship with [Michigan booster] Ed Martin ended. Ed, unfortunately, in my opinion basically died of a broken heart. So while we’re still brothers and I hope that we’re going to make amends… One of the great things of being teammates and friends is we should be able to speak openly and honestly. And hopefully he finds a way to realize and apologize about what happened in Michigan. It ain’t just about you. It’s about the players, it’s about the coach. Steve Fisher coached in three finals and won a championship in Michigan. You go in that campus, his name is nowhere. So it’s bigger than just him. And the fans deserve it, the history of the University of Michigan deserves it. And all he had to do is say two words. It’s not brain surgery. They are ‘I’m sorry.”

The interview is a good one and features Rose’s thoughts on the Cavs, LeBron and Kevin Love, and much more, so we suggest you read it.

Webber wiped out a lot of bad blood with Michigan by attending the championship game, but an apology would go a long way towards restoring his and the Fab Five’s name with the school, just like Rose says.

Rose said earlier this year that Webber disassociates himself with the Fab Five. Last year, Rose talked on Grantland about how Webber ignored him at the 2013 NBA Finals:

Rose has expressed many strong opinions on this subject. He was responsible for the utterly awesome “The Fab Five” documentary produced by ’30 for 30′ and says Webber, despite initially agreeing to participate, backed out out of the film. Last April, he implored Webber to come to the national championship game (and says Webber did not like the public request). Rose also expressed anger in 2012 over the Fab Five’s banners being pulled down by the school.

The Fab Five may be associated with the scandal that rocked the basketball program, but they also brought remarkable success, identity and accolades to the school. All of the positive deserves equal recognition as the negative.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Michigan’s Facebook page didn’t think very highly of Wofford

Michigan-Facebook-page-Wofford

Michigan is fully expected to advance to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament with a win over Wofford, but the games are all played for a reason. You never know what can happen, and the Wolverines wouldn’t be the first No. 2 seed to lose to a No. 15 seed if they happened to overlook Wofford. For a short time on Thursday, their Facebook page didn’t believe losing was possible.

As you can see from the screenshot above that was posted on Reddit, the person who updates Michigan’s official Facebook page already had the Wolverines penciled in to take on 10th-seeded Arizona State in the third round of the tourney. The graphic was swapped out after a short time.

Obviously, somebody made a mistake. If that was supposed to be a display of overconfidence, the guilty party wouldn’t have said the game was taking place on March 20 at 7:10 p.m. EST. Plus, there’s no guarantee Arizona State will upset 7th-seeded Texas. If Wofford wants to use the error bulletin board material, more power to them.

Jalen Rose: It would be a ‘flagrant omission’ if Chris Webber doesn’t attend Michigan’s national championship game

Jalen-Rose-Chris-Webber-MichiganThere is a slight chance that all of the members of Michigan’s notorious “Fab Five” team will be in attendance to watch the Wolverines take on Louisville for a national championship on Monday night, but chances are Chris Webber will be absent. Jalen Rose is trying to change that.

During an interview with Bill Simmons for the “B.S. Report” on Sunday, Rose talked about the strained relationship between Webber and Michigan. He believes there are two things that have caused Webber to abandon his former team — the infamous timeout Webber called when the Wolverines were trailing by two in the 1993 national championship and didn’t have any, and the booster scandal that resulted in Michigan’s banners being taken down and wins being vacated.

“The elephant in the room has been Chris Webber,” Rose explained. “While he loves us like brothers, and vice versa, there has been a communication separation that has basically taken place since we all were teammates. I think the timeout had a lot to do with it.”

“I think he wants to disassociate himself with that moment and with that school — in theory — with us, to kind of rebuild his life mentally to say, ‘My career really started my rookie year in the NBA.’ But that’s not really how it works. It’s sad. It’s unfortunate.”

Webber is banned from making contact with the program until later this year. In 2002, he was charged with lying to a grand jury about his involvement with a gambling scandal that centered around Michigan booster Ed Martin. Rose mentioned how he believes that incident has soured Webber’s relationship with the school, but he also said he is hoping Webber will swallow his pride and join his former teammates at the game.

“It would mean so much to the university, so much to the current players — especially since he lives in Atlanta and the network that he actually works for (in Atlanta) has a show Tuesday night,” Rose said. “So therefore Monday night, the world knows he’s going to be in Atlanta. So it’s almost like a flagrant omission if he decides not to come.”

It would make for a great storyline if Webber was in attendance along with Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. But it would be a surprise. Webber has alienated the program for years and chose not to participate in the filming of the “Fab Five” documentary. Monday would be a great time to begin reconciling — especially if the Wolverines end up cutting down the nets.

Michigan-Syracuse ending marred by charging call

Michigan was on the verge of blowing a lead against Syracuse in the Final Four Saturday, but they benefited from controversial calls by the officials and held on to win 61-56.

The controversial call that stood out was a charging foul called on Brandon Triche with 19.2 seconds left in the game. Syracuse was down 58-56 at the time and Triche drove to the hole looking to tie the game. Just as Triche was elevating for a layup, Jordan Morgan appeared to shuffle into defensive position in front of him.

The referees called a charging foul on Triche, giving the ball to Michigan. Based on the NCAA’s charging vs. blocking rule, a blocking foul should have been called on Morgan.

Here is the applicable guideline from the NCAA Rules Committee:

Before the offensive player (with the ball) becomes airborne, the defender must have two feet on the floor, be facing the opponent and be stationary to draw a charge. Otherwise, it should be a blocking foul.

That wasn’t the only call to go in favor of Michigan in the final two minutes.

[Read more...]

Jim Boeheim: Michigan is probably the toughest team for us to defend

Jim BoeheimJim Boeheim expressed some concern over Syracuse playing Michigan in the Final Four after watching what the Wolverines did to the Florida Gators in the South Region finals of the NCAA tournament Sunday.

Michigan was on fire in the first half against Florida and outscored the Gators 47-30. Boeheim and his point guard Michael Carter-Williams joined the CBS crew for an interview during halftime of the Michigan-Florida game, and that’s when the Syracuse coach expressed praised the Wolverines.

“What I’ve watched I haven’t liked at all,” Boeheim told Greg Gumbel in response to Michigan’s explosive first half. “They’re probably the toughest offensive team in the tournament as far as we go. Because they shoot the ball so well from the perimeter, they’ve got [Mitch] McGary playing inside at a high level which he wasn’t earlier in the year. Offensively, they’re probably the most difficult team in the tournament for us.”

Boeheim is right on about McGary. The freshman forward’s season-high marks during the regular season were 14 points and 11 rebounds. In the tournament, he’s taken his game to the next level. He put up 13 and nine in the team’s first game against South Dakota State, 21 and 14 against VCU, and he went off for 25 and 14 in an overtime win over Kansas.

Though Boeheim admitted that Michigan’s well-rounded offense presents a challenge, he wanted to make it clear that facing his team’s 2-3 zone defense is not so simple to beat.

“Our zone is not easy to play against because of a guy like Michael [Carter-Williams] out there at 6-foot-6. He can disrupt smaller guards — like Indiana’s guards — had a lot of trouble against Michael.”

Michigan has two things that could help them beat the zone — a point guard who can penetrate like Trey Burke, and good outside shooting. Nik Stauskas is a 42.9 percent 3-point shooter this season and went 6-of-6 on threes Sunday. The chances for Michigan to replicate its amazing performance against Florida seems small, but they certainly have the tools to beat Syracuse.

Trey Burke’s clutch 3-pointer highlights stunning Michigan comeback (Video)

Trey Burke MichiganTrey Burke made the kind of shot Friday that will be replayed on March Madness highlight reels for years to come.

With Michigan down by three and 4.2 seconds left in their South Region NCAA tournament semifinal game, Burke bombed a 3-pointer from nearly 30 feet away that tied the game at 76. Kansas missed a three on the ensuing possession to send the game to overtime where the Wolverines won 87-85.

What makes Burke’s 3-pointer so remarkable is that the sophomore point guard erased a poor first half with an incredible second half. After going 0-for-4 with no points in the first half, Burke went 9-for-17 in the second half and overtime to give him 23 points in the win.

Michigan was down by 10 with under three minutes left in the game and managed to come back to tie the game. Burke made a layup, assisted on another, and nailed a pair of threes in the final two minutes of regulation. Burke’s hot streak extended into overtime where he made his first two shots.

A lot of blame can be ascribed to Kansas for the collapse, but Burke deserves credit for his incredible clutch play during the comeback.

Michigan faces Florida Sunday with a trip to the Final Four at stake.

Video via MGoBlog

Michigan fans decorate Michigan State statue in Valparaiso gear? (Picture)

Michigan State and Michigan would not play each other in the NCAA Tournament unless both teams advanced to the finals, but that doesn’t mean their fans aren’t paying attention to one another. The Spartans and the Wolverines are playing at the same venue in the opening round, which has led to some creativity.

On Wednesday, we told you how Michigan State fans have been buying South Dakota gear in anticipation of the Jackrabbits’ first-round game against Michigan. The following photo, which was posted on Reddit Thursday morning, appears to show that Wolverines fans wasted no time firing back.

Valparaiso-gear-Michigan-State-statue

According to various people on Reddit and Twitter, the Sparty statue on Michigan State’s campus has been decked out with Valparaiso gear. Michigan State is facing Valparaiso in the first round.

There’s no way of knowing for sure if it was Michigan fans who did the vandalizing, but they’re certainly the prime suspects. The Spartans and the Wolverines may be five wins away from a potential meeting, but the back-and-forth we have seen before the tournament reminds us of just how intense the rivalry is between the two schools.

H/T SI.com’s Extra Mustard