Team preview: Michigan

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 2, 2004, 9:18 AM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams.


People who look down on the National Invitational Tournament clearly haven't had the experience of winning the tournament. Often denigrated as a substandard consolation prize for teams that fall short of the NCAA Tournament, the NIT gives those squads the opportunity for up to five more games against quality competition.

Teams that pout go home early. Teams that take advantage bring home hardware, and have a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses headed into the next season.

Last year, Michigan finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten and bowed out of the conference tournament in the second round, leaving the Wolverines on the outside looking in at the Big Dance. But instead of cursing their fate, Tommy Amaker's team rattled off five straight victories to win the third NIT championship in the school's history.