Is Michigan the Big Ten's most well-known, most hated, most loaded with expectations squad?
But the hype and intrigue will be running heavy in Ann Arbor. And these returning starters will be well known and in opposing fan's cross hairs all year.
The two stars, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, both flirted with the lottery, but eventually decided to team up back in Ann Arbor for a chance at a national title and to improve their draft stock.
Unlike last year, when these mega-talents played supporting roles to Hardaway and Burke, these are the guys in 2013-2014. McGary is the gregarious energy guy who apparently was one of the top outside shooters in the nation during his junior year in high school, a skill he lost when gaining 50 lbs. and is now working to get back. He will be hated in Columbus, at the Breslin, in Bloomington, just about anywhere actually, because of the high motor and goofy persona.
GR3, high flying finisher a year ago, is now being asked to shoulder some offensive load. You know his dad, The Big Dog, and you know his posterizing dunks. Did you know his defense struggled last year because he was asked to play out of position? Did you know he's gained weight and got quicker and lowered his body fat? Did that last sentence even make sense?
THE HYPE MACHINE ASKS: CAN THEY CARRY THE LOAD??
Behind the two stars is the Canadian Steve Kerr, Nik Stauskas, and his dead eye shooting. Hate him because he looks like a tall stunt double for Eminem in 8 mile. Hate him because of the cadre of made 3 point shot dances (fist pumping, low flying). Hate him because he's sort of an Internet sensation, making 90% of threes in the rain and pulling millions of YouTube hits. Definitely hate him because his surprisingly well rounded offensive game.
The following player would be less innocuous if they didn't go to Michigan. Or if they weren't named Spike Albrecht and didn't tweet Kate Upton. And nail all those threes in the nat'l title game. Love that guy. And he's not a one-hit wonder. Spike had played important back-up minutes all season and will play major minutes this year.
Fame builds on itself. Obviously. America has made some folks quite wealthy over nothing but being famous. So combine a nat'l title run with some well known future NBA players, sprinkle in that Michigan hype you all so dearly cherish, and top it all off with a Kate Upton tweet and a probable Top 5 preseason ranking...and voila!
Hype and intrigue.