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Webber, Fab Five members at title game
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 8, 2013 @ 11:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Rachel George, USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA — A crop of five freshmen helped Michigan get back to the national championship game, but it was the original Fab Five that created a buzz at the Georgia Dome on Monday night.
The heralded group that led the Wolverines to back-to-back national championship games reunited for the first time since a major infractions case that one of their biggest stars disassociated from the school.
Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, Jimmy King and –yes, most notably – Chris Webber were in attendance to see fifth-seeded Michigan face Louisville in the title game.
Webber’s presence proved the most significant and came after Rose, now a commentator for ESPN, campaigned for him to move past hard feelings and reunite with the group.
“While he loves us like brothers, and vice versa, there has been a communication separation that’s has basically taken place since we were teammates,” Rose said on Bill Simmons’ podcast on Sunday.
It was Michigan’s first trip to the title game since the Fab Five led them here in 1993, an appearance that was later vacated because of NCAA violations involving Webber. His bitter falling out with the school came after the NCAA in 2003 required the school to disassociate him and three other players for 10 years, a punishment that ends in 30 days.
Webber was the centerpiece of the team that fell to Duke and North Carolina, respectively, in the 1992 and 1993 title games.
Before the sanctions, there was the timeout. Webber’s call late in the game vs. the Tar Heels came as Michigan had no timeouts remaining. The resulting technical foul effectively thwarted the team’s chance for a comeback.
“I think the timeout had a lot to do with it,” Rose said on the podcast. “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 started my rookie year in the NBA.’ That’s unfortunate.”
Webber left for the NBA after his sophomore year, but he became a result of a school and federal investigation for his ties with booster Ed Martin. … [For more on Chris Webber, Fab Five members cheering on Michigan at title game, click here.]
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