U-M's most cohesive team in thirty years
by Craig Ross
When Michigan beat then-undefeated Duke last December at Crisler Arena, excited fans spilled onto the court. U-M men's basketball, after lurching around for more than ten years in a largely self-induced coma, had rejoined the living. The Wolverines were up and down the rest of the season, but made the NCAA Tournament for what was, officially, the first time in fourteen years (many 1990s appearances were forfeited in the Ed Martin booster scandal). This year, most preseason polls put the Michigan men in the top twenty-five in the country. That may underestimate this year's brutal Big Ten competition, but head coach John Beilein and his staff have shaped Michigan's most cohesive team in at least thirty years. And, after last year's excitement, Crisler will be busier this time around. Preseason student season ticket sales jumped fivefold, to more than 2,500.
[Originally published in November, 2009.]