Posted March 30, 2013 on
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The 123 Kid
Tim Hardaway Jr
Trey Burke was a 16-month-old toddler the last time Michigan was still playing this late in the NCAA tournament.
That regional final 19 years ago, a loss that ended the Fab Five era, was played in a building that no longer exists. Where Reunion Arena once stood near downtown Dallas is now a vacant lot about 20 minutes from where the Wolverines finally get another chance to get back to the Final Four.
''It's definitely crazy,'' Burke said Saturday. ''Just to get this program moving back in the right direction means a lot to us.''
No. 4 seed Michigan (29-7) plays SEC regular-season champion and No. 3 seed Florida (29-7) for the South Regional title on the raised court at ultramodern Cowboys Stadium on Sunday.
The Wolverines advanced largely because of Burke, the sophomore and Big Ten player of the year who scored 23 points - all after halftime - as they overcame a 14-point deficit against top seed Kansas. They forced overtime when Burke hit a long game-tying 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds left in regulation and won 87-85 in overtime.
''Yeah, I was surprised at how far I was,'' Burke admitted after seeing multiple replays of the shot that may just become known as the Fab 3.
Burke also had 10 assists, making him the first player to have 20 points and 10 assists in the NCAA round of 16 since 1997. The last to do it? A Providence player known as ''Billy The Kid'' - aka Florida coach Billy Donovan, who will be on the opposite bench when his Gators play in their third consecutive regional final.
''It's funny, my wife says to me this morning, she asked me the same question, she said, `Who was the player?','' said Donovan, admitting that he already knew and remembered his numbers (26 points, 10 assists vs. Alabama). ''And I said Magic Johnson. And she said, `No, you.' I said I'm glad I'm comparing myself to Magic Johnson, that's great.''
Florida has been to this point each of the last two years, but they haven't been further since winning consecutive national championships under Donovan in 2006 and 2007.
In both of those regional final losses - to Louisville last year and in overtime to Butler in 2011 - the Gators had 11-point leads in the second half. This is now the last chance for fourth-year Florida seniors Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy to get a title of their own.
''Game to game, it's a different feeling,'' Boynton said. ''You think about it before the game. Once the game starts, you try to do everything in your control individually and as a team to change the outcome. Up to this point, our team does a great job preparing the right way.''
After falling behind 15-4 early against Florida Gulf Coast, the high-flying No. 15 seed everybody knows now after an unprecedented run to the NCAA round of 16, the Gators recovered with a 16-0 run late in the first half to go ahead to stay in a 62-50 victory.
While Florida is loaded with seniors and NCAA tournament experience, the Wolverines have three freshmen in their starting lineup. Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr., one of three sons of former NBA players on Michigan's roster, is the only starter older than Burke.
All that youth never kept them from starting the season with the goal of competing for a national championship.
''A lot of people doubted us, a lot of people thought we were too young, not tough enough. And I think we've proved people wrong over the last couple of weeks,'' Burke said. ''I think we understood we have what it takes to be a young team that can go far in this tournament. ... Being young isn't an excuse.''
Michigan hasn't been to the Final Four since consecutive national championship game appearances in 1992 and 1993 by the Fab Five - Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King - as freshmen and sophomores.
Webber was gone before that 1994 regional final loss to Arkansas in Dallas, and Rose and Howard followed him to the NBA after that.
This is the most successful Michigan season since then, though there is no sense of satisfaction yet.
''You're not the team until you're the team. And the only way you can be the team is that you win that championship,'' said sixth-year Michigan coach John Beilein, who took West Virginia to a regional final eight years ago. ''We want to make sure that they never get satisfied that this great season that we have. We're trying to get one more (win) every game.''
Donovan, in his 17th season with the Gators, also talked about the uniqueness of this particular season - and this game.
Not the last two trips to regional final games that were lost. Even with so many of the same players.
''I'm not sure what we take from those situations that could really help us get prepared for Michigan. I think this game stands on itself,'' Donovan said. ''It's got its own separate identity as itself. It's in the moment. It's now, it's here, it's present.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Michigan found themselves down 10 to the Kansas Jayhawks with 2:30 seconds, but the Wolverines went on a huge run run which was capped off with Trey Burkes 30FT heave with 4.2 seconds left: Burke had zero points at the half, and finished the second with 18.
In case you didn't know--Michigan's Trey Burke has got game.
That doesn't do the man justice--Trey Burke has got some crazy, whack, mad serious game (that sounded cooler in my head, but you get the idea, right? The man is something else!).
He has proved it all season long playing well enough for many to call him the front runner for player of the year in Division...
Trey Burke scored all 23 of his points after halftime, including a long, tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, and Michigan rallied to beat Kansas 87-85 in the South Regional semifinals Friday night.
The fourth-seeded Wolverines wiped out a 10-point Kansas lead in the last 3 minutes of regulation, and Burke gave them their first lead since early in the game with another...
Trey Burke and the Michigan Men's Basketball team are moving on to the Elite 8 for the first time since 1994. I can't actually talk about this yet without my heart still racing or without me getting emotional. Yes, I'm that girl.I was out for happy hour with my friend David & we watched the Michigan/Kansas basketball game in a bar where I'm confident I was the...
Trey Burke, the nation's best point guard, was unconscious in the 2nd half and overtime. 23 points. All in that span.
Mitch McGary was great, too, finishing with 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Michigan will play the winner of the Florida in-state rivalry game in the Elite Eight on Sunday.
UPDATE: Michigan will play Florida at 2:20pm ET. The game...
The Sweet Sixteen was awesome. Another great two days of college basketball. We saw Trey Burke lead Michigan to an unbelievable comeback win against Kansas. We saw Aaron Craft and Ohio State on the brink of elimination again, but nonetheless prevail, and we even saw Syracuse’s zone stifle arguably the most potent offense in college basketball. But all those games are over, and...
Trey Burke grew up in the shadow of another Big Ten university. Mitch McGary was more of a baseball fan as a kid, and still dreams of a World Series for the Chicago Cubs.
They are now part of a new generation of fabulous young Wolverines going to the Final Four, the first for Michigan since the Fab Five two decades ago, after a dominating performance Sunday in the South Regional...
Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. were also available to the media on Saturday afternoon to discuss Sunday’s matchup with Florida. Watch Burke reflect on his late 3-pointer against Kansas and Hardaway discuss the leadership on Michigan’s roster in the embedded media players below.
Hardaway after the jump.
Michigan is going to the Final Four.
The Wolverines left no doubt in Arlington, Texas as they dismantled the Florida Gators from the opening tip. Michigan opened the game on a tear as 13-0 start turned into a 23-5 lead which ballooned to 41-17 late in the first half. Florida would make things more competitive in the second half but never truly threatened the Wolverines as they coasted...
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Another fabulous group of young players has Michigan headed back to the Final Four. Led by Big Ten player of the year Trey Burke and sharp-shooting guard Nik Stauskas, one of three freshman starters, the Wolverines dominated Florida right from tipoff, scoring the game's first 13 points and routing the Gators 79-59 in the South Regional final Sunday.
Dunk City has been relocated to Ann Arbor, Mich., or Arlington, Tex., or something.
As part of Michigan’s 47-30 dominant half over Florida, Trey Burke hit Glenn Robinson III on an alley oop reminiscent of what we saw so often from Florida Gulf Coast University this NCAA Tournament (someone had to take over for the Eagles as “most entertaining team left in March Madness”).
Another fabulous group of young players has Michigan headed back to the Final Four.
Led by Big Ten player of the year Trey Burke and sharp-shooting guard Nik Stauskas, one of three freshman starters, the Wolverines dominated Florida right from tipoff, scoring the game's first 13 points and routing the Gators 79-59 in the South Regional final Sunday.
''A lot of guys...
John Beilein, Trey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr. were on the podium after Michigan’s win over Kansas. Watch the press conference in the embedded media player below.
Read the full press conference transcript here.
Trey Burke's insane alley-oop pass to Glenn Robinson III served as the exclamation point in Michigan's Elite Eight win over the Florida Gators.
Last night’s Elite Eight games were pretty amazing. Syracuse/Marquette was a classic Big East, physical brawl that proved Cuse was the real deal. The Ohio State/Wichita State was one for the ages. I didn’t think the Shockers could pull off the upset, but they proved that they were the better team, at least for last night. However, when the Elite Eight schedule was released, I...