Chris Webber, '93 Fab Five squad rank on Sporting News' 'best of' NCAA tournament lists
At Michigan, the name Chris Webber is always followed with an asterisk.
Webber's involvement in the infamous Ed Martin recruiting scandal helped lead to NCAA sanctions, the removal of Final Four banners and a tarnished individual legacy inside and around the Crisler Center.
But, that doesn't mean he wasn't a dominant college basketball player.
In conjunction with the NCAA's celebration of the 75th anniversary of "March Madness," The Sporting News released its own ranking of the top 75 college players of the expanded bracket era (1985-present). The publication also unveiled its top 10 players at each position on the floor.
And, on this list, Webber wasn't excluded -- landing at No. 7 in the category of best forward.
"A 6-9 forward who could run the floor with most guards, Webber was the prize recruit in the most heralded recruiting class ever, and he hit the court running," Ryan Fagan wrote. "Webber scored 19 points and had 17 rebounds in his first game for the Wolverines.
"He led Michigan to the national championship game in each of his two seasons; he shot at least 50 percent in 10 of his 12 NCAA Tournament games and scored at least 23 points in five of those contests."
Webber's NCAA tournament run in 1993 ended in a disaster, with his failed timeout call against North Carolina in the national title game. But his six-game run leading up to that moment was remarkable.
He recorded 27 points and 14 rebounds in a second-round win over UCLA, 27 points and 13 boards in a national semifinal win over Kentucky and 23 points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort against North Carolina. For the tournament, Webber averaged a whopping 19.2 points and 11.3 rebounds.
Webber's 1992-93 squad, which had all of its records asterisked due to sanctions, finished 31-5 after starting the year as the No. 1 team in America.
The '93 squad also received recognition from the Sporting News, finishing at No. 8 on a list of the top 10 college teams that didn't win a national championship.
"In Year 2 for the Fab Five, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and company rolled into the national championship game -- or the second consecutive year -- riding a 12-game winning streak," the publication wrote. "The Wolverines trailed North Carolina by two points in the final 11 seconds when Webber called his infamous timeout, resulting in a technical foul that left this group just short yet again of a championship."
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