The "fab Five"
After the final game of the 1991 state championship, Webber announced to a group of reporters that he would play for the University of Michigan Wolverines. There, under the leadership of Coach Steve Fisher, Webber joined four other highly recruited freshmen: Ray Jackson, Juwan Howard, Jim King, and Jalen Rose. When Fisher put all five freshmen in the starting line in February of 1992, the team was dubbed the Fab Five. Known for their cocky, self-assured play, on-court trash talk, and knee-length shorts that soon became the national trend in uniforms, the Fab Five earned a bid to the 1992 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament as a sixth seed. Webber and his teammates reached the finals, but were soundly beaten by the Duke Blue Devils, 71-51. Webber was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, averaging 15.5 points per game and leading the conference in rebounding.
With all the Fab Five returning as sophomores, great things were expected of the Wolverines. Webber did not disappoint: he led his team in points per game (19.2) rebounds per game (10.1), blocks per game (2.1), and field goal percentage (.619). In March of 1993, the Wolverines were back in the final game of the NCAA tournament, this time favored to beat their opponent, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Webber poured in twenty-three points and grabbed eleven rebounds; however, in a fateful play, down by two points with eleven seconds left on the clock, he got caught in a trap in the corner near the Michigan bench. To avoid a turnover, he signaled for a timeout. But, because the Wolverines had no remaining timeouts, Webber was called for a technical foul. The Tar Heels made both free throws and ultimately won the championship 77-71.