In some ways, it feels like 1993 all over again. Jurassic Park is being re-released in theaters this week, and the Michigan Wolverines are headed back to the Final Four.
It was supposed to be Indiana playing in Atlanta next week with a chance to have its season end with confetti falling, nets being clipped and a trophy being raised high into the air as a crowd roars. Instead, it is the Wolverines, the last Big Ten team standing, heading to the Final Four with its national championship hopes still intact after a 79-59 win over Florida on Sunday.
The conference, because of the insane amount of hype it received this year, needed at least one representative in the Final Four, but I’m not sure if anyone thought it would be the Wolverines carrying the Big Ten banner into the final weekend of the season.
Much of the credit for the success against the Gators goes to Nik Stauskas. The freshman was unreal in the biggest moment of his career, drilling six 3-pointers and scoring 22 points as he helped Michigan get off to a sizzling start, and the team never looked back.
The performance helped break Stauskas out of a funk, as he had made only two shots from beyond the arc in the first three tournament games. If he can build on the performance he turned in against the Gators, he could be a difference maker for Michigan next weekend as well and give the Wolverines a chance to win the title.
Of course, if Michigan wins the championship, it won’t feel like 1993 anymore — it will feel like 1989.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.