First Take: Jalen Rose’s Fab Five


I had the chance to watch a promotional copy of Jalen Rose’s Fab Five documentary, which will debut on ESPN this Sunday at 9 p.m., and figured it would be worthwhile to share a couple thoughts. We also posted a handful of quotes from Jalen, who produced the film, earlier this week.

As you would expect from a film produced by Jalen Rose, the documentary does a tremendous job of capturing the attitude and social impact of the Fab Five. The film focuses on their impact culturally and ability to connect hip-hop and basketball. The brash exuberance of the Fab Five is not just captured through the clips on the court, which are obviously entertaining. A majority of the interviews do a great job of portraying the same energy. Whether it’s listening to the Fab Five describe their feelings on Duke and Christian Laettner – using words like “Uncle Toms” and “soft bitch” – or one of the many hip hop icons of the time explaining their cultural influence.

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2011 Big Ten Tournament Preview

Seed Team W L Poss. Off PPP Def PPP Eff Margin
1 Ohio State 16 2 63 1.19 1.02 0.17
2 Purdue 14 4 65 1.12 0.99 0.13
3 Wisconsin 13 5 57 1.19 1.09 0.10
5 Illinois 9 9 64 1.07 1.02 0.05
6 Penn State 9 9 59 1.08 1.10 -0.02
4 Michigan 9 9 61 1.06 1.09 -0.03
9 Minnesota 6 12 62 1.03 1.07 -0.03
7 Michigan State 9 9 64 1.02 1.06 -0.04
8 Northwestern 7 11 62 1.06 1.14 -0.08
10 Iowa 4 14 66 0.98 1.10 -0.12
11 Indiana 3 15 64 1.02 1.14 -0.12

Big Ten Tournament Bracket / Tempo Free Aerial / Gasaway Log5 Preview (Partial $)

In preparation for the Big Ten Tournament tomorrow, we put together a preview featuring the final efficiency margin table along with capsules of the early games and the teams that earned byes.

Ohio State’s offensive explosion in the final two weeks cemented the Buckeyes where they belong: at the top of the league. Just about everyone else fell into line about where you would expect. The lone exception is Minnesota, whose numbers are propped up by Al Nolen playing the first half of the conference slate.

Despite Michigan’s second half surge, they still have a negative efficiency margin in conference play which is actually .02 points per possession worse than last year’s squad. This year, however, two Big Ten teams with negative efficiency margins – Michigan and Michigan State – are still in a position to grab NCAA tournament bids. Squads with a negative efficiency margins in conference play are almost always eliminated from the tournament swiftly. In fact, it’s been five years since a team with a negative efficiency margin made the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

The caveat is that John Beilein teams routinely break this rule. The last major conference team with a negative efficiency margin team to win a tournament game was Michigan in 2009. The last negative-EM team to make the second weekend was West Virginia in 2005. Will Michigan 2011 break the rules again? A respectable showing in the Big Ten Tournament and the Wolverines will have a chance. Preview capsules after the jump.

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Bubble Updates: March 9th, 2011

It was a good day for bubble teams across the country yesterday as Butler managed to knock off Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Horizon League Championship. Butler was a likely at-large in most brackets while Milwaukee occupied the Horizon League automatic qualifier spot in most brackets. The Butler win means that the bubble actually grew a spot last night, as Milwaukee does not have the resume to qualify as an at large.

Other notable results include Oakland over Oral Roberts in the Summit League championship, a game which provides a slight boost to Michigan’s computer numbers. Princeton also beat Penn, which sets the stage for an Ivy League playoff on Saturday: Harvard vs. Princeton. Not only is that game a chance for Tommy Amaker to clinch an NCAA tournament berth, it’s a very important game for Michigan’s resume as well. Slowly but surely, the mid-major “bid stealing” conferences are wrapping up their tournaments. There are still more mid-major autobids to hand out but the damage has been minimal thus far. That means the major conference action is about to pick up. With 11 Big East bids all but locked up, today is the day to cheer against Big XII bubble teams. Things will truly start to heat up Thursday as there are at least seven games of utmost bubble importance.

For now, here’s your Wednesday viewing guide and updated bracketology roundup (after the jump).

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Jalen Rose Discusses Fab Five Documentary

fabfive[1]Jalen Rose was made available via conference call today to discuss the upcoming Fab Five documentary that will debut this Sunday at 9 p.m on ESPN. Rose produced the film which aims to give an unfiltered look at the Fab Five. Here are a few notes and quotes from the call.

  • “The story of the Fab Five has never really been told.” Mentioned Mitch Albom’s book, but said the definitive story, taking everything that is now known into account, has never been told. The film is in a way a sort of “Bible” of the Fab Five.
  • Mentioned a notable omission: No 2011 Chris Webber interview. “He felt like at this time he didn’t want to speak and talk about his portrayal of how things went those couple of seasons … anyone who sees it knows that we really went in-depth about everything: the good, the bad, the ugly and the scandal.”

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Video: John Beilein Previews the Big Ten Tournament

Video of John Beilein speaking with media about the Big Ten Tournament, a chance for revenge against Illinois and how his players learned to hold themselves personally accountable.  Notes and quotes, as well as the second half of the video, after the jump.

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Video: Morris, Novak, Hardaway and Smotrycz Talk Illinois

Evan Smotrycz, Darius Morris, Zack Novak and Tim Hardaway Jr. were all on hand this afternoon to discuss the Illini, the Big Ten Tournament and how this season turned around.

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