April 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Terry Foster

Wolverines are fine, but they aren't Fab

Michigan is two victories from winning the NCAA title — something the Fab Five never did.

The Fab Five, however, would beat the current Wolverines by at least 10 points.

"With all due respect to the guys there now, (the Fab Five guys) were just better," basketball analyst and former Michigan State star Greg Kelser said. "Trey Burke in my estimation is the catalyst for a lot of what happens there now. But there was really no one guy. You could take any of them away from the Fab Five and they really would have done well."

Every time a Wolverines team makes a Tournament run — Michigan plays Syracuse in Saturday's semifinals in Atlanta — it is compared to the Fab Five, the school's most celebrated team in history.

And, most fail to measure up, including this year's team.

Size deficit

The current Wolverines just don't match up well against the Fab Five.

No one can guard Chris Webber or Juwan Howard on the wings. Remember how much trouble the 2012-13 version had guarding the post during the Big Ten season? Do you really believe Mitch McGary and Glen Robinson III or Nik Stauskas could hold Howard off the block? Webber was 6-foot-10 and Howard 6-9. There's just not enough size for the current Wolverines.

The only edge I would give the current team is Glen Robinson III or Tim Hardaway Jr. over Ray Jackson.

And, watching Jalen Rose and Trey Burke go at it would be a treat. Burke is quicker, but could he get any of his shots over 6-9 Rose?

The Fab Five also performed under more pressure, while the current Michigan team has been mostly under the radar.

Sure, the 2012-13 version was ranked No. 1 briefly, but the story this season was about how deep the Big Ten was overall, and Indiana and Ohio State grabbed more headlines.

The Fab Five? It was a circus following them. Still, they finished 56-14 during their time together.

Burke at the buzzer

Here's what the current team has that the Fab Five didn't.


If it came down to a final shot to win the game, Burke has shown he can do that.

Burke would be the best clutch shooter on either club.

It wouldn't come down to that, however.

The Fab Five had size, speed and talent. The current team simply got hot after finishing fifth in the Big Ten.

So the final score …

Fab Five 78-65.


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Jimmy King and Chris Webber figured on a prodigiously talented Michigan team in the early ’90s. / Detroit News file
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