Reporting Matt Ryan
Road to Atlanta:
71-56 over South Dakota State
78-53 over VCU
87-85 over Kansas in overtime
79-59 over Florida
Last Final Four Appearance: 1993
Figurehead: John Beilein is in the Final Four time for the first time in his 35 year head coaching career.
Star Player: Trey Burke was Big Ten player of the year and could also have a Naismith Award and Final Four MOP to his credit in a few days. Burke saved the Wolverines season against Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen with his clutch play and could be a top five pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
X Factor: Freshman forward Mitch McGary has emerged as a key component for the Wolverines in the NCAA Tournament. McGrady dropped a season high 21 points against VCU and surpassed that amount with 25 against Kansas. He has also grabbed at least 9 rebounds in Michigan’s four tournament games.
Four Famous Alumni: Gerald Ford, Sanjay Gupta, Tom Brady, and James Earl Jones.
Key Stat: Michigan is the youngest team in the Final Four and has seven underclassmen that get regular playing time.
Legacy: Although Michigan cut down the nets in 1989, the Fab Five is often what comes to mind for many people when they think of Wolverines basketball. Bringing a second national title to Ann Arbor would add another chapter of success to the program. It would also place John Beilein in the elite coach category.
Why Michigan Will Cut Down the Nets: After their comeback against Kansas and domination of Florida, its hard to look at the Wolverines a young and upcoming team anymore. They have averaged just under 80 points a game in the NCAA Tournament and have enough scoring options in their offense to bust Syracuse’s 2-3 zone.
Why the Wolverines Will Come Up Short: Michigan’s talented starting five will finally meet its match against a tough Syracuse defense that has surrendered more than 70 points in only four games this season.