Wolverines are on the rise

With Trey Burke and quality freshmen, Michigan is an Elite Eight team

Originally Published: September 20, 2012
By Michael Rothstein, Paul Biancardi, Fran Fraschilla | ESPN Insider
Trey BurkeBrian Spurlock/US PresswireTrey Burke and the Wolverines have the talent of an Elite Eight team, and possibly more.

Leading up to Midnight Madness in October, ESPN Insider's "Countdown to Madness" series is previewing the top five seeds in each of the four regions in Joe Lunardi's preseason 2013 NCAA bracket. To read about the key stats and freshman impact for each team as the previews are published, plus get expert predictions from Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Lunardi, click here. This is the entry for the Michigan Wolverines, No. 2 in the Midwest (Indianapolis).

The key: Depth and versatility

Stat to know: 29.4

Since John Beilein has been at Michigan, the one thing he has struggled with the most is depth. Even when he thought he might be able to play a nine- or 10-man rotation, it never materialized. Last season, on perhaps what was his most talented team with the Wolverines, only six players averaged more than 11 minutes per game.

This season, Beilein has his deepest and most talented roster to date. With it comes versatility, as players like junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and three freshmen -- guard Nik Stauskas, swingman Glenn Robinson III and forward Mitch McGary -- who can play two or three spots on the floor well.