Wolverines stun Jayhawks

ARLINGTON, Texas — Trey Burke never doubted he could lead Michigan to its deepest NCAA tournament run since the Fab Five era.

Not after a scoreless first half. Not when the Wolverines trailed top-seeded Kansas by 14 with less than 7 minutes left — or by 5 with 21 seconds left.

And definitely not when he got the ball in his hands and the seconds draining away.

Burke scored all 23 of his points in the second half and overtime, including a long, tying 3-pointer in the final moments of regulation as Michigan rallied to beat Kansas 87-85 in the South Regional semifinals Friday night.

"We never lost faith out there," Burke said. "We stuck it out together."

Ben McLemore had 20 points to lead the Jayhawks (31-6), who looked to be on their way to a third straight regional final before Michigan's improbable rally. Instead, they became the third No. 1 seed to fall in this tournament, joining Gonzaga and Indiana.

"Well, this will certainly go down as one of the toughest games that obviously we've been a part of and I've been a part of," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "But props to Michigan for making all the plays late."

That's for sure.

The fourth-seeded Wolverines (29-7) were down five when Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left, but Glenn Robinson III won a scramble for the ball and hit a reverse layup to force Kansas to win the game at the free throw line.

The Jayhawks couldn't do it. Burke's tying shot — he pulled up from well beyond the arc just left of the key — came with 4.2 seconds left after Elijah Johnson missed a free throw and Michigan got the rebound.

Moments earlier, with 21 seconds remaining, Johnson had hit two from the line to keep the Kansas lead at five. Burke had scored on a layup to get Michigan back to within three.

"We never had the mindset that we were going to lose the game," Burke said. "When we were down 14, we knew anything could still happen. It's March, anything can happen."

Michigan went to back-to-back championship games a generation ago with the Fab Five led by Chris Webber, Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose. But the folks in Ann Arbor will be talking for years about the shot by Burke under the huge video board Cowboys Stadium, just down the road from where Howard and Rose played their last game together with Ray Jackson and Jimmy King in a regional final loss to Arkansas in 1994.

The lead changed hands five times in overtime — the first OT game of the tournament — the last when Mitch McGary, who led Michigan with 25 points and 14 rebounds, hit a short jumper with Johnson in his face to put Michigan ahead 83-82.

The Jayhawks got a stop and had about 9 seconds to tie or win, but a jumbled possession ended with Naadir Tharpe missing a running jumper at the buzzer.

Florida 62, Florida Gulf Coast 50

At Arlington, Texas, Mike Rosario had 15 points to help Florida to an NCAA regional final for the third year in a row and stop the run for Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 15 seed whose improbable tournament journey ended just before midnight Friday.

Florida Gulf Coast, the high-flying team from "Dunk City" few people knew before this NCAA tourney, jumped out to an early 11-point lead against the SEC regular-season champs.

But the No. 3 seed Gators (29-7), with a roster filled with NCAA tourney experience, were just too strong and too good.

Michael Frazier made a pair of 3-pointer to start a 16-0 run late in the first half. That came in a 41/2;-minute span when the Eagles (26-11) had four turnovers and missed their only shot. They trailed the rest of the game.


Midwest Regional

Duke 71, Michigan State 61

At Indianapolis, Seth Curry scored 29 points and the Blue Devils beat Michigan State to advance to the regional final in the NCAA tournament.

If No. 2 seed Duke (30-5) beats top-seeded Louisville (32-5) in Sunday's regional final, Krzyzewski would tie John Wooden's record with 12 Final Four trips.

Third-seeded Michigan State (27-9) just couldn't keep up with Curry and Duke's shooters. Keith Appling had 16 points for the Spartans, and Adreian Payne finished with 14.

Curry's sixth 3-pointer of the game broke a 38-38 tie early in the second half, sending Duke on a 9-0 run. It also matched the school record for most 3s in an NCAA tourney game, most recently accomplished by Jason Williams on March 22, 2001, against UCLA.

The Blue Devils never trailed again.

Rasheed Sulaimon had 16 points and Mason Plumlee finished with 14 for Duke.


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK