EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 30, 2013

NCAA Sweet 16: Michigan storms back to stun Jayhawks


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Trey Burke never doubted he could lead Michigan to its deepest NCAA tournament run since the Fab Five in 1994.

Not after a scoreless first half. Not when the Wolverines trailed top-seeded Kansas by 14 with less than 7 minutes left — or by 5 with 21 seconds left.

And definitely not when he got the ball in his hands and the seconds draining away.

Burke scored all 23 of his points in the second half and overtime, including a long, tying 3-pointer in the final moments of regulation as Michigan rallied to beat Kansas 87-85 in the South Regional semifinals.

Ben McLemore had 20 points to lead the Jayhawks (31-6), who looked to be on their way to a third straight regional final before Michigan’s improbable rally.

Instead, they became the third No. 1 seed to fall in this tournament, joining Gonzaga and Indiana.

The fourth-seeded Wolverines (29-7) were down five when Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left, but Glenn Robinson III won a scramble for the ball and hit a reverse layup to force Kansas to win the game at the free throw line.

The Jayhawks couldn’t do it. Burke’s tying shot — he pulled up from well beyond the arc just left of the key — came with 4.2 seconds left after Elijah Johnson missed a free throw and Michigan got the rebound.

Moments earlier, with 21 seconds remaining, Johnson had hit two from the line to keep the Kansas lead at five.

Burke had scored on a layup to get Michigan back to within three.

Cold, Oregon can’t stop Cards’ Smith

INDIANAPOLIS — Even a nasty cold can’t stop Russ Smith.

With his teammates struggling with the virus he gave them and top-seeded Louisville facing its toughest test of the postseason, he put on his best show yet.

He matched his career high of 31 points and the Cardinals proved they can win close games, too, beating Oregon 77-69.

“Without Russ Smith, we couldn’t win,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who improved to 11-0 in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

The 12th-seeded Ducks (28-9) made a game of it late.

After Louisville went up 66-48 with 9:01 left, Oregon made six straight field goals to close to 70-64 — the closest anyone’s been to the Cardinals in weeks.

Hot-shooting Curry lifts Duke

INDIANAPOLIS — Seth Curry shot Duke right into the regional finals — and put Mike Krzyzewski on the verge of another milestone.

Curry scored 29 points and the Blue Devils beat Michigan State 71-61 to advance to the Midwest Regional final in the NCAA tournament.

If No. 2 seed Duke (30-5) beats top-seeded Louisville (32-5) in Sunday’s regional final, Krzyzewski would tie John Wooden’s record with 12 Final Four trips.

Curry’s sixth 3-pointer of the game broke a 38-38 tie early in the second half, sending Duke on a 9-0 run.

Florida ends Cinderella run by Florida Gulf

ARLINGTON, Texas — Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast got off to a fast start but Florida dominated the rest of the way for a 62-50 romp.

Mike Rosario led the Gators with 15 points.