Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert are not the first two names you think of when think about the Michigan Wolverines. With stars like Trey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr., you don’t normally remember the bench players who come in to give them a rest.
In the Final Four, Albrecht and LeVert stepped up and made a name for themselves when they came in to give Burke and Hardaway a rest. Syracuse didn’t expect much from them, particularly Albrecht, so they sagged off and let them shoot.
Although he only played four minutes, Albrecht nailed two back to back threes to open a large lead for the Wolverines. He stepped up when no one expected him two and knocked down the two biggest shots of the first half as they allowed Michigan to have a comfortable lead that they would be able to control.
LeVert got a lot more playing time than Albrecht, but he still isn’t a player you think of when you think of the Wolverines.
In his 21 minutes of play, he had eight points on 3-of-4 shooting to go along with four rebounds and two assists. With Nik Stauskas struggling to score and knock down shots, LeVert ended up stealing most of Stauskas’ minutes and evidently being the difference maker of the game.
LeVert’s defense was also a difference maker as he made it difficult for the Syracuse guards to score.
Michigan earned their trip to the Final Four with the play of Burke and McGary mainly, but their trip to the national championship was earned by their two unsung heroes.
Albrecht and LeVert made a difference against Syracuse, but can they lead the Wolverines to a title?