Michigan plays Louisville for the NCAA title tonight, and the biggest subplot isn’t Trey Burke vs. Russ Smith or Mitch McGary vs. Gorgui Dieng, but whether or not Chris Webber will show up. The last time Michigan played for a title, in 1993, Chris Webber called a timeout he didn’t have in the closing seconds – the most famous timeout in sports history, I’d say – and UNC held on for victory. The Tar Heels led by two, Michigan had the ball and a shot to win, but Webber signaled for a timeout – maybe someone on the bench or in the stands yelled something? – and the Wolverines lost. That was Webber’s last college game, wrapping up a brilliant, iconic 2-year career in Ann Arbor.
Talking with Bill Simmons Sunday, Webber’s Fab 5 teammate Jalen Rose said Webber has divorced himself from the Fab 5 since the timeout, and basically, Michigan altogether. It’s unclear whether or not Webber – who lives in Atlanta – will show up at the title game.
Tough to argue with Webber’s decision. The “Timeout” isn’t something a 20-year-old rebounds from easily. Then came the Ed Martin saga and the Fab 5 era getting wiped from the record books. Webber was the lone Fab 5 member who didn’t sit for the 30-for-30 documentary. But when was the “right” time to talk about the timeout? You talk about it once, and it’s all you’ll get everytime you sit for an interview. Bringing it up now would take away from Michigan’s magical run.
My .02? Chris Webber, please show up to the title Title game (just avoid the tape recorders). Please. It’ll be the only thing that saves CBS from showing Kevin Ware 204 times. Perhaps this tweet from the weekend is a sign Webber’s stance on Michigan is thawing.
It’s Your Time Now! twitter.com/realchriswebbe…
— Chris Webber (@realchriswebber) April 6, 2013