True to the holiday spirit, Michigan basketball has officially been resurrected. They couldn't touch the Fab 5 with a 10-foot rod, nor were they a sexy pick to come out of the South region at the start of the NCAA tournament, but the Wolverines look like a championship team after beating the Gators like they stole the eggs from the Easter basket.
The Wolverines are very young squad, and their inconsistency toward the end of the regular season, fed the idea that this was nothing more than a fun team to watch. Michigan opened the tourney with an expected win against South Dakota State, but the letdown that was supposed be a showdown between Trey Burke and Nate Wolters prevailed as the storyline.
It was a bit more impressive when they ethered VCU in the next round, but with all due respect to Shaka and his crew, we knew Michigan was capable of such an act. Clowning Kansas with a furious comeback in the Sweet 16 was like a moment of truth – when we found out that Trey Burke was carving his name as THE point guard of the tournament.
Florida might as well have not even shown up for the Elite Eight. Actually...
Michigan vs FGCU woulda been a much more exciting game— Cuffs The Legend (@CuffsTheLegend) March 31, 2013
No joke, though. The Gators couldn't hit the side of a fire station for the first 10 minutes. And when the game was unsettled, Michigan never really let off the gas. What gets people about this Wolverine group is that while they're hardly comparable to the Fab Five, they do have five guys who have the ability to take over a game.
The freshman Mitch McGary, who was inserted into the starting lineup just before the tournament, has been a force on both ends in all four games. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III shared the game ball after the victory against VCU. Burke had perhaps the single greatest performance of the entire season in leading the Wolverines past the Jayhawks.
Finally, this was Nik Stauskas doing what knock-down shooters do. All of the guys on this team have experienced their moment in the sun.
Complete performance by Michigan. Team has found itself in tourney after struggling late in reg season. Very impressive run— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) March 31, 2013
There is something truly refreshing in seeing Michigan be awesome in basketball again. Can't explain it.— Eddie Maisonet, III (@edthesportsfan) March 31, 2013
Michigan's got damn near the perfect team to beat Syracuse's 2-3 zone. Penetrating PG, quality shooters, bigs who can pass and finish.— Eddie Maisonet, III (@edthesportsfan) March 31, 2013
Trey Burke is South Regional most outstanding player...McGary and Stauskas also on all-region team.— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) March 31, 2013