Wolverine Legends Tournament Round One: Berenson Region

We already broke down the first round of the Legends Tourney over in the Schembechler Region, now we move over to the Berenson bracket to break it down. Scroll down for matchups and polls.

(1) Michael Phelps vs. (8) Anthony Thomas

Michael Phelps is very much the face of the Olympics for the U.S.A over the last 10 years for what he has accomplished in the pool.  Winning 22 medals, 18 of them gold, this former Wolverine is the most decorated Olympian of all time. In the 2008 Games, Phelps set the record for most first place finishes in a single Olympics. He never officially earned his degree from Michigan due to his career taking off, but there is no denying what he has accomplished.

Anthony Thomas was one of the Michigan greats when it came to football. The running back helped the Wolverines win the National Title in 1997 and set school records for rushing yards (4472) and touchdowns (56). His rushing yards record was eventually broken by Mike Hart. His best season came in 2000, when he rushed for 1733 yards, which is second all-time behind Tim Biakabutuka in school history. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2001 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears and won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. His career went on the decline after that, but he is surely one of the best rushers in Wolverine history.

Update: Michael Phelps advances with 54% of the vote!

(2) Desmond Howard vs. (7) Braylon Edwards

Desmond Howard is a legend in the Michigan Football program. This former Heisman Trophy winner led the Big Ten in scoring with 138 points in 1991. This receiver and return specialist also won the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards during his Heisman season.  He holds NFL records for the 2nd longest kick return TD in the Super Bowl of 99 yards and is third all time in punt return touchdowns with eight. He was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame and his number 21 has been honored by the University of Michigan.

Braylon Edwards ranks among the best receivers all-time in the Michigan program. During his senior year in 2004, he set Michigan school records for catches (97) and receiving yards (1330). He finished with over 250 catches in his Wolverine career with over 3500 yards and 39 touchdowns. Edwards also owns the record for games with 100 or more yards with 17. He was first-team All-Big Ten in 2003 and 2004 and won the Biletnikoff award in ’04 as well. He was the third overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2005 and was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams in 2007.

Update: Desmond Howard advances with 90% of the vote!

(3) Barry Larkin vs. (6) Jalen Rose

Former Wolverine baseball great Barry Larkin is one of the best players ever to take the field in Major League Baseball. The Michigan legend, whose number 16 was retired by the school in 2010, is one of the most decorated players in Cincinatti Reds history. The smooth fielding shortstop was a 12 time All-Star, three time Gold Glove winner, nine time Silver Slugger winner, and 1995 National League MVP. Winning a World Series with the Reds in 1990, Larkin is one of the all-time greats to wear a Reds jersey. He was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.

Jalen Rose was probably the second most popular member of the “Fab Five” behind Chris Webber.  He led the team in scoring his Freshman year in 1991 with 19 points per game. During his Michigan career, he had over 1700 points, 400 rebounds, 400 assists, and 100 steals. He was selected thirteenth overall in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.  In his 13 year NBA career, he averaged 14.3 points per game. He may not have had quite the success Chris Webber had, but he will always be remembered as the most outspoken of the Fab Five.

Update: Jalen Rose advances with 60% of the vote!

(4) Juwan Howard vs. (5) Dan Dierdorf

Juwan Howard was the other big man opposite Chris Webber as a member of the Fab Five.  Howard was voted an All-American in 1993-94 season. He was drafted fifth overall by the Washington Bullets in 1994 and won a title last year with the Miami Heat. A journeyman role player, Howard’s best season came in 1996 where he was an NBA All-Star and voted to the All-NBA Third Team.

Dan Dierdorff was one of the best offensive tackles in Wolverine history on the gridiron. He was a consensus All-American in 1970 and went on to have a successful NFL career. Drafted in the 2nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals, Dierdorf was a 6 time Pro Bowler, 5 time All-Pro, and a member of the NFL 1970s All-Decade team. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

Update: Juwan Howard advances with 59% of the vote!

Thanks for voting! Second round matchups will be posted March 4th.


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