Michigan has national title aspirations

Michigan fell just short of upsetting Duke in the NCAA tournament and advancing to the Sweet 16. But out of the loss came a belief that the Wolverines could go very far this coming season.

As guard Tim Hardaway Jr. told me earlier this summer, "Your heart's broken because you really could be one of the best teams in the country. Coming back next season and working out this whole summer, we have a chip on our shoulder."

And apparently Hardaway Jr. isn't the only son of a former NBA player who has high expectations. Jordan Dumars, the son of Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, will become eligible this season after transferring from South Florida and told the team's website that the team has a national title in its sights.

"Michigan basketball should be a lock for the tournament every year," he said. "We're not a low-major school that is just looking to make the tournament; we're trying to get things done. Obviously it would be lovely to make the Sweet Sixteen or the Final Four, but at the end of every one of our workouts this year all we say is, 'National Championship.' That's our mindset for sure."

With an experienced team returning, Michigan will have its chance to make its statement, and that statement will first have to come during Big Ten play. The Wolverines finished 9-9 in conference games last season and will face plenty of challenges there again with Ohio State, Wisconsin and Purdue all expected to contend for the league title and a number of other teams improving.

But having a national title as the goal should be seen as good news for Wolverines fans looking to see the program return to its place at the top. It's a lofty goal for sure, but few had Connecticut in the title picture at this time last year.

So let it be known. Michigan is looking to go all the way, and wouldn't that be amazing to see?