The Ohio State-Michigan Rivalry Is Peaking…in Basketball –After the buzzer sounded in the 1992 NCAA men’s basketball tournament Southeast Regional final, an exuberant 6-foot-9-inch Michigan freshman broke into a celebratory shimmy.
Led by the famed Fab Five recruiting class, the No. 6 seeded Wolverines had just upset No. 1 seed Ohio State, a veteran team led by Jim Jackson that had beaten Michigan twice during the regular season. So freshman Juwan Howard did the Cabbage Patch—a 1990s dance craze named for a 1980s doll craze—and later was immortalized in a GIF.
Today, Howard is Michigan’s second-year head coach. And the No. 3 Wolverines and No. 4 Buckeyes return to the spotlight as the teams’ formerly sleepy basketball rivalry revives. On Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, Michigan and Ohio State will meet for the first time ever with both ranked in the nation’s top five.
“That was a game that, Ohio State, they just knew they were going to win,” recalled former Michigan coach Steve Fisher of the 1992 shocker. “And we found a way, with Juwan and Jalen (Rose) and Chris (Webber) and everybody, to win the game and go to the Final Four. Then it became much more intense on both sides.”
Michigan-Ohio State basketball has long languished in the shadows of its legendary football rivalry—though the Buckeyes have turned that into a laugher by winning the last 15 of 16. The hoops teams, on the other hand, have rarely been elite at the same time. That is different this year.