Michigan basketball program ranked No. 13 in ESPN's top '50 in 50' years list
Despite forfeited wins, removed banners and a terrible dry spell, the Michigan basketball program still ranks among the nation's elite over the past 50 years.
ESPN.com ranked Michigan No. 13 in its recent "50 in 50" series, a point-system based measurement that rates the top 50 college basketball programs over the past 50 years.
AnnArbor.com file photo
It also gave bonus points for First-Team All-Americans and top-10 NBA draft choices.
Michigan finished with 360 points in ESPN's system, highlighted by its 1989 national titles, five Final Fours since 1962, 12 regular-season Big Ten titles, 13 All-Americans and 10 high NBA selections.
It was penalized as well. Michigan lost a total of 16 points for vacated victories stemming from the Ed Martin scandal, and also was hurt by its stretch of zero NCAA Tournament bids from 1999-2008.
ESPN also offered up a top five starting lineup for the Wolverines since 1962, featuring point guard Gary Grant, off-guard Cazzie Russell, forward Glen Rice, forward Chris Webber and center Rudy Tomjanovich.
Per ESPN's list, Michigan finished higher than the likes of Ohio State, UNLV, Villanova, Purdue, Arkansas, Illinois and Florida.
Despite all the sanctions and forfeited wins, Michigan finished just two spots behind Michigan State -- who ranked at No. 11.
The ranking also posed a question. Which Michigan basketball team in the past 50 years goes down as the program's best?
The 1989 championship team? The 1993 Fab Five 31-5 squad? The 1965 Final Four team? None of the above?
Let the debate begin.