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.

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

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

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– 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.”



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

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 67 FINAL
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60

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