Is Jalen Rose pulling for his alma mater this afternoon?
Michigan and Duke don't stand at opposite social or cultural borders as they meet this afternoon, their first NCAA tournament encounter since that April evening in Minneapolis nearly 20 years ago when Rose and his four fellow freshman starters made college basketball history.
If anything, the two programs have never been closer in personality and purpose than they are right now.
This Michigan team is the antithesis of the Fab, make that Fib Five. There's nothing rebellious about them. No freelancing. No big talk. No deviating from the prescribed system. There's no confusion over the single dominating presence. It's the guy in the shirt sleeves, constantly barking instructions to his players.
They almost robotically adhere to John Beilein's wishes on the floor, assimilating into an efficient, disciplined, albeit non-descript team.
Might the word "colorless" apply?
Rose used the Duke-Michigan relationship from 20 years ago as a metaphor for how one defines an individual's "blackness." He didn't hide his contempt for Duke, accusing them of a form of racial profiling. Rose argued that if you fit the convenient stereotype of a poor, inner-city kid from a single-parent home who accrued his wits as much from the street as from any school textbook, Duke didn't want anything to do with you.
War of words between Jalen Rose, Grant Hill hardly a litmus test
Detroit Free Press | Mar 20