Michigan has a lot of talent, but the national title hopes of the Wolverines ride on how well Trey Burke plays.
Burke didn’t score in the first half of Saturday night’s Sweet 16 showdown against Kansas, which was in control most of the night but had a 10-point lead wiped out in the final three minutes of regulation and lost 87-85 in overtime.
Burke provided much of the fuel for the riveting comeback and finished his night with 23 points, shining like the clutch player that he can be when he is clicking on all cylinders.
”This guy was a champ all the way through it,” Michigan head coach John Beilein said in a postgame press conference.
Yeah, Burke played like a champ alright, and because of his dazzling performance, which included two three-pointers during a 14-4 run that forged a tie at the end of regulation, the Wolverines still have a chance to win a championship.
Michigan is in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1994, and understandably, Burke is thrilled.
”I’m so proud of my team because a lot of people say we’re young, but we stuck with it tonight,” Burke said in a postgame press conference. ”I’m just so happy right now. We stayed together and we got the win.”
It would have been easy for the Wolverines to give up and crumble under the weight of a double-digit deficit.
But the Wolverines hung in there and stuck together when it mattered most. Burke was the glue that kept his team together and the championship dreams of Michigan are still intact as well.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.