April 6, 2013
Site: Atlanta, Ga. (Georgia Dome)
Event: NCAA Tournament (National Semifinal)
Score: #10 Michigan 61, #16 Syracuse 56
Records: U-M (31-7), Syracuse (30-10)
Next U-M Event: Monday, April 8 -- vs. Louisville in NCAA Championship Game (Atlanta, Ga.), 9:23 p.m. (TV: CBS)
ATLANTA, Ga. -- Making its first NCAA Final Four appearance in 20 years, the University of Michigan men's basketball team received a big lift from its bench in defeating Syracuse, 61-56, in the national semifinal round Saturday (April 6) before a crowd of 75,350 at the Georgia Dome. The Wolverines (31-7) will play No. 1 overall seed Louisville (34-5) in the national championship game Monday (April 8) at 9:23 p.m. on CBS.
Freshman forward Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) had his third double-double in the last four games, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds. He added a career-high six assists against the Orange. McGary had six points, seven rebounds and four assists in the first half.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and contributed five assists. Sophomore guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) added seven points, five rebounds and four assists. The national player of the year did not score his first points of the game until there was one minute left in the first half. Burke nailed a three with 60 seconds remaining that gave Michigan a 36-25 halftime advantage.
Michigan jumped out to a 7-2 lead early, but Syracuse scored five straight points to even the score heading into the first timeout of the game. The Orange rallied with a 7-0 run to grab a 14-9 lead during a stretch when the Wolverines missed six straight shots. Freshman guard Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central HS) ended the string with a three-pointer that started an 11-3 run for Michigan. LeVert knocked down his second of the contest during that run that helped give the Wolverines a 20-17 lead at 7:49 of the half.
A second freshman came off the bench during the next four-minute stretch and made an impact. This time it was guard Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon [Mass.]) who nailed a pair of threes that pushed the lead to 28-21 at 3:50. Michigan added to its lead with an 8-4 advantage over the final four minutes to grab a 36-25 lead at the break. Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) dropped in a pair of baskets, and Burke scored his first points with a three-pointer at the one-minute mark.
Seven different Wolverines scored in the first half, and each made a major contribution, with Robinson, Albrecht, LeVert and McGary leading the way with six points apiece. The bench contributed 16 of the team's 36 points in the half. The Wolverines connected on six three-pointers against the Orange's vaunted 2-3 zone during the first half, and they shot 44.8 percent (13-29) and 35.3 percent from three (6-17).
Syracuse came out in the second half and outscored Michigan, 7-3, through the first four minutes to cut the deficit to seven, 39-32. The Wolverines forced an Orange timeout with a 4-0 run on transition buckets from Robinson and McGary, but Syracuse rallied with a 7-2 run to make the score 45-39 at the 11:43 mark. The Orange continued to inch closer as C.J. Fair scored six of the next eight points for the Orange and brought the score to 48-45 at 7:41.
The Wolverines turned up the defensive intensity for some stops and rebuilt an eight-point lead, 53-45, at 3:46. The 5-0 run by the Wolverines came on a Burke free throw, Robinson tap-in and McGary 15-foot jumper.
The Orange chipped into the lead with baskets from Fair and James Southerland to bring the deficit to 53-49 with less two minutes to play. Hardaway was fouled at 1:19 and went to the line for a 1-and-1. He knocked down both free throws to give Michigan a 55-49 lead. After a pair of Syracuse free throws, Burke calmly sank two. Triche scored a basket and was fouled but missed the free throw. McGary was fouled on the rebound but was unable to convert either free throw, keeping the lead 57-53 with 48.7 seconds left.
After Southerland nailed a three with 41 seconds remaining to make it 57-56, Burke and Horford nailed 1-of-2 free throws each with less than 30 seconds remaining, sandwiched around junior Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) drawing a key charge. Morgan added a dunk to seal the victory.
This will be the sixth time that Michigan has played in the national championship game (1965, '76, '89, '92, '93 and 2013). The Wolverines claimed the 1989 NCAA national title with an 80-79 overtime victory against Seton Hall.
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423