The No. 4 seed Michigan Wolverines (29-7) were dead in the water. Faithful fans all over the country had likely chalked the game up to yet another tournament disappointment for the Maize and Blue nation. However, down by double-digits with less than three minutes left on the game clock against the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks in the Sweet 16, sophomore point guard Trey Burke caught fire as he put on a clinic and led his team to their first Elite 8 bid since 1994.
Burke commandeered his Wolverines on a 22-8 run in the final minutes of regulation, forcing the first overtime game of this year’s NCAA Tournament after tying the game on a long three with just 4 seconds left on the clock. After being shut out in the first half of the game, despite dishing out assists, Burke scored 23 points in the second half and overtime, carrying his team on the back when it mattered most.
This young Wolverines squad, ranked No. 1 at one point this season, has looked as solid as anyone in the Big Dance, winning their first two rounds by a total of 35 points; but to be fair, this was their first true test of the tournament and, in the end, they passed.
It’s been nearly 20 years since Michigan’s Fab Five era of college basketball, and since then the Wolverines haven’t had much tournament success, as they’ve been consistently unable to get over the proverbial hump. However, could tonight’s resilient come-from-behind victory over the Jayhawks finally awaken a sleeping giant?
We will find out soon enough.