I love this time of year with the NCAA basketball tourney happening and all that comes with March Madness. But the tournament is just not as enjoyable as it once was for me. None of "my teams" are in it this year so other than wanting the teams I picked to win to advance, I really don't care that much about the games. In recent years, Kent State has had a strong showing, even advancing to the Elite Eight in 2002, and my Central Michigan Chippewas advanced to the second round a few years ago. But the main major conference school that I'm a fan of, the University of Michigan, has not been in the tourney since 1998. They have been one of the dominant teams of the NIT the past couple years, but that doesn't mean too much when you're a Big Ten team.
Michigan's absence from the tournament lately makes me long for the good 'ole days in the late 80's to early 90's when the Wolverines appeared in the national title game three times over the span of five years (taking the title with the Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson-led 1989 squad). As a Michigan fan, it was particularly fun to watch the Fab Five (Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson) when they were tearing up college basketball. Never before had we seen five freshmen experience so much success and they were trend-setters with their baggy shorts, black shoes & socks, and trash talking ways.
I was especially interested in the Fab Five since I was in the same year as school as them and grew up in the Detroit area. I was able to follow Webber and Rose throughout high school and even came within two games of playing against Webber in the state tournament my junior year. It's fun as a fan to follow your team when they are doing well nationally and competing at the highest level. Though they were never able to claim the national championship, the Fab Five were a lot of fun to watch.
Check out this video for some highlights:
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