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Trey Burke leads Michigan to thrilling win over Kansas

Mar 29, 2013, 10:24 PM EDT

Michigan v Kansas Getty Images

For the first time since 1994, Michigan will be heading to the Elite 8, and they have NBCSports.com National Player of the Year Trey Burke to thank.

It didn’t look that way for the first 20 minutes, as Burke headed into halftime scoreless on 0-4 shooting. But after the break is when Burke took over. He finished with 23 points and 10 assists as No. 4 Michigan erased a 14 point second half deficit to knock off No. 1 Kansas 87-85 in the first semifinal of the South Regional.

With 1:16 left, Michigan was still down 74-66. Burke hit a three to cut the lead to five, and followed that up with a long jumper two possessions later to cut the lead to three. After Elijah Johnson missed the front end of a one-and-one with 12.6 seconds left, Burke hit a three from about 30 feet to tie the game. When a three from Naadir Tharpe bounced harmlessly off the front of the rim, the game was headed to overtime.

In the extra frame, Burke opened the scoring with another three and then a driving layup. A pair of buckets from Mitch McGary, who finished with 25 points and 14 boards, put the Wolverines up five, and they were able to survive after Kansas was only able to get a runner from 23 feet from Tharpe.

Do the match, and Burke scored 13 points in the final 1:16 of regulation and the first 1:37 of overtime.

That’s unbelievable.

And it’s the reason Burke was our National Player of the Year. He’s the first player to go for 20 points and 10 assists in the Sweet 16 since Billy Donovan in 1987.

This is what he’s done. When Michigan is playing their best, it’s not necessarily Burke that’s scoring all the points. He creates for the rest of his team. He sets up McGary around the rim or his shooters on the perimeter or the athletes on his team in transition. He runs the Michigan offense and looks to get everyone else involved, especially when he has two and three defenders running at him.

But when the game’s on the line?

When it’s ‘winning time’?

Burke is the one with the ball in his hands and he’s the one making the plays. And as he’s proven time and time again that he can make those plays.

It’s enough that it’s carried the Wolverines to the brink of the Final Four, where they will play the winner of Florida and Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. sportsfaninyyc - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Yes! Anybody but Kansas!

  2. tarr123 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Trey Burke or better yet Keyser Soze deal with it Wisconsin, Indiana, and all other B1G teams.

  3. badgerbuck - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Sure looked like that kid from Kansas threw that game guido had some money on that game. Really looked suspicious

  4. kiopta1 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Great game. Go Blue!

  5. kiopta1 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    The ball shot was the moment I lost respect for this Kansas team.

    • gopherz - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      UP 3 with only a few seconds to go you foul every time before they can shoot the 3; its a no BRAINER; SO SLEEP ON SELF.

  6. tarr123 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Hey Badgerbuck STFU u like 1950’s basketball your opinion doesn’t count.

  7. barkleyblows - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    If only both teams could lose!

  8. elwaysmilehighdenver - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Michigan never quit! They wanted to win more than Kansas. Self controlled and poised. What a memorable game. Minus the blatant ball buster shot of course!

  9. packhawk04 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Elijah johnson can now go punch himself in the nuts for missing the free throw at the end of regulation.

  10. badgerbuck - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Just saying that looked mighty suspicious that a kid would not take the lay up and instead hope for a miracle three. Somebody had some big money on that game. Media really should look into that one,but they won’t truth might hurt

    • polegojim - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      Badger… the play CALLED was a kick back to the point.

      He wasn’t supposed to shoot and did not have the layup anyway.

  11. packhawk04 - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Not everyone point shaves. I realize your badgers did that to ole miss and youre bitter, but at least try not to make it so obvious.

  12. mblue24 - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Great game

  13. barnesaintnoble - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Obviously Burke was the hero and McGary played great, but Hardaway, Robinson and Stauskas all scored in double figures and combined for 34 points. Not much scoring off the bench, but Morgan, Levert and Albrecht played solid minutes on defense. It was a team win. This is a very good team with a very good coach.

    Florida is very similar to Michigan only that they have two bigs that start, Young and Murphy. Will be a fantastic game.

  14. mungman69 - Mar 30, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Well, I had money on Kansas and it looks to me that Michigan wanted the game more. The Michigan coach sure outcoached that Kansas coach.

  15. gopherz - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    SELF and the kansas were dumb and STUPID ; all they had to do was foul before mich. could get get of a shot; DUMB-DUMB-DUMB???

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