Michigan reaches its first Final Four since 1993

  • Article by: JIMMY BURCH FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
  • Updated: April 1, 2013 - 12:31 AM

Florida had no answer for a 13-0 opening run by Michigan as the Wolverines reached their first Final Four since 1993.

hide

A commanding victory over Florida put the spotlight on Michigan on Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium.

Photo: Photos by DAVID J. PHILLIP • Associated Press ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– It is a familiar refrain at Michigan, but one that fans have not heard for 20 years:

The Wolverines are headed back to the Final Four with the youngest team in the NCAA tournament.

Michigan made that happen Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, leaning heavily on the freshman threesome of Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary and Spike Albrecht to join sophomore point guard Trey Burke in making the decisive plays that triggered a 79-59 rout of Florida to secure the school’s first trip to the Final Four since 1993.

Stauskas fired away from three-point range, hitting all six shots he attempted from behind the arc. McGary, making only his sixth start of the season — but his fourth in the NCAA tournament — added game highs of nine rebounds and five steals to go with 11 points.

Albrecht stepped up with seven points and three steals in relief of an ailing Burke, who battled back spasms while contributing 15 points and seven assists to secure Most Outstanding Player honors for his two-game effort at the South Regional.

The result was a decisive, wire-to-wire pasting of a senior-laden Florida team that saw its season end with a loss in the Elite Eight for a third consecutive season. It came on the heels of the Wolverines’ frenetic comeback Friday in an 87-85 overtime upset of a senior-laden Kansas team that was the region’s top seed.

For Michigan (30-7), which suffered a regular-season loss to Big Ten cellar dweller Penn State (10-21), the reward is a Final Four matchup against Syracuse in a battle of No. 4 seeds in Saturday’s national semifinals at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The trip will draw inevitable comparisons between this team and the Fab Five group from yesteryear, which made consecutive Final Four appearances with a starting lineup of all freshmen (1992) and all sophomores (1993).

But that group never cut down the nets at a national championship venue. These young Wolverines still have that opportunity, which motivates guard Tim Hardaway Jr.

“We really want to do that. We want to make a statement and leave our names and legacy at the University of Michigan,” Hardaway said. “It means the world. Twenty years have passed and we haven’t been on that stage yet.”

Michigan will get that opportunity in Atlanta because of what happened with surgical precision at Cowboys Stadium. The Wolverines scored the first 13 points of the game and never let the lead drop below 11 in dispatching Florida (29-7).

“Against Kansas, we felt like we came out pretty sluggish. We felt the key today was to come out and throw the first punch,” said Burke, whose team connected with regularity in the early going.

The Wolverines made seven of 11 shots from three-point range in the first half, led by Stauskas’ 5-for-5 barrage.

“We just didn’t finish plays at all. And it started right away,” said Florida coach Billy Donovan, whose team missed 14 of its first 16 shots while falling behind 23-5. “It’s hard to overcome shooting like that to start a game.”



  • related content

  • Michigan’s Trey Burke, a stat-sheet stuffer Sunday, grabbed a rebound away from Florida’s Casey Prather during the second half.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
UCF 57 FINAL
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
SMU 60 FINAL
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the hockey season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close