Trey Burke drives Michigan back from 14 down to beat Kansas in OT
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kansas coach Bill Self said he voted for Michigan point guard Trey Burke as the national player of the year, but Burke had a scoreless first half and seemed unable to overcome the inside strength of the Jayhawks as they built a 14-point lead with 6:50 left in regulation of their South Regional semifinal Friday night at Cowboys Stadium.
Then Burke hit a medium-range jumper to start a 22-8 Wolverines run that ended with the All-American draining an NBA-range three with 4.2 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Burke had 10 of his 23 points in that stretch, then opened OT with another NBA three and a jumper that sent Michigan on its way to a stunning reversal for an 87-85 victory.
"We were determined the last five to seven minutes," Burke said. "This win is not about me. We've been playing our best basketball because everyone is involved."
The Wolverines (29-7) advanced to Sunday's regional final against Florida. Kansas (31-6) was left to ponder what went wrong in a game in which it shot 54.5 percent and dominated points in the paint 60-40.
"This will go down as one of the toughest games I've been part of," Self said. "Their player of the year stepped up and was unbelievable late. The last three minutes, we didn't do a lot of things right, which will be something we regret for a long time."
Michigan built an 87-82 lead in OT, but Elijah Johnson hit a three with 45 seconds left to make it a two-point game. When Burke and Mitch McGary missed layups without hitting the rim, the shot clock expired with 9.4 seconds left, giving Kansas one more chance.
Johnson drove the right side and appeared to have a sure layup, but he passed outside to Naadir Tharpe, whose three-point try missed at the buzzer.
"I thought we could get to the rim," Self said. "For whatever reason, he veered behind the backboard and really didn't give himself a shot. That's when he threw the ball back to Naadir. That was poor execution."
Burke had 10 assists to go with his 23 second-half points, and the Wolverines got a great inside game from McGary (25 points, 14 rebounds), plus double-figure efforts from Glenn Robinson III (13 points, eight rebounds), Nike Stauskas (11) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (10). Freshman Ben McLemore led Kansas with 20 and Releford had 16. Johnson scored 13, Kevin Young had 12 and Jeff Withey contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.
The Jayhawks took a 40-34 halftime lead as Burke missed all four of his shots. When McLemore scored 10 points in a 22-10 surge that gave Kansas a 68-54 lead, it seemed too much for Michigan to overcome. But Burke turned it around and sent it to OT with his clutch three. "It was from 27 to 30 feet," Self said, "but still, it was a great play by a big-time player."