Michigan rallies to stun Kansas in overtime at Cowboys Stadium on Friday night.
By KEITH WHITMIRE FS Southwest
ARLINGTON, Texas –
Trey Burke didn't know how far he was from the basket, he just knew his Michigan team needed a big shot.
Burke's three-pointer, from well beyond NBA range, with 4.3 seconds left capped an improbable comeback by Michigan and sent Friday's South Region semifinal with Kansas into overtime, 76-76.
"We fought so hard to come back, it really didn't matter how far the shot was," said Burke, who launched the shot from near the Michigan bench, about 30 feet from the rim. "It was all or nothing. The season flashed before our eyes those last two or three minutes."
Burke scored five of Michigan's points in overtime to secure an 87-85 win for the Wolverines, who advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1994.
Kansas led by 14 with 6:50 to play, but then Burke and the Wolverines heated up.
Burke, held scoreless in the first half, finished with 23 points, none bigger than the one that sent the game to overtime and summoned a roar that rattled the rafters at cavernous Cowboys Stadium.
"I had a lot of faith in that shot," Burke said. "And it went in."
Burke hit a three-pointer moments earlier to draw the Wolverines close, then stepped around two players who had fallen to the floor to hit the big one.
"We were switching [on defense] and I don't know what happened," Kansas center
Jeff Withey said. "I don't think we got to him on time and he hit just an unbelievable shot."
Kansas' Naadir Tharpe missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer of regulation, then missed another opportunity at the end of overtime.
With Kansas trailing by two with nine seconds left at the end of overtime, the Jayhawks' Elijah Johnson drove to the side of the backboard, but passed up a layup opportunity.
Instead, the passed the ball out to Tharpe beyond the 3-point line. Tharpe's contested shot never had a chance.
Johnson also missed the front end of a one-and-one on the possession prior to Burke's tying 3-pointer.
"We had a chance to seal the game," Kansas guard Travis Releford said. "But we made some bonehead plays late."
Kansas appeared in control for the first 38 minutes of the contest. The Jayhawks dominated inside early, scoring 30 of their first 33 points in the paint.
While Kansas was on its way to a season-high 60 points in the paint,
Mitch McGary was keeping Michigan's head above water. The freshman big man scored 11 of his game-high 25 points in the first half.
Kansas shot 67.9 percent in the first half but its lead was just 40-34 at the break.
Then Burke began to assert himself. He scored eight of Michigan's first 10 points in the second half to foreshadow the heroics to come.
"The second half he took over," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We went under a couple of times and let him get confidence, and the next thing you know it was his game."