No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 4 Syracuse: A comprehensive guide to our Final Four coverage
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
- Clean sweep: Trey Burke wins Naismith Trophy, now consensus national player of the year
- Game story: One more: Michigan outlasts Syracuse, 61-56, will play Louisville for national title Monday night
- Column: Is Michigan destined for a national title? It's certainly starting to feel like it
- No timeouts! Michigan assistants go out of their way to not 'relive past failures' in Final Four
- PHOTO GALLERY: Images from the Michigan vs. Syracuse Final Four game in Atlanta
- Michigan's Jordan Morgan has his redemption moment -- twice -- in Final Four win over Syracuse
- WITH VIDEO: Fan celebrations spill into the streets after Michigan advances to national championship
LIVE COVERAGE: Join Michigan beat writers Nick Baumgardner and Kyle Meinke from our Live Chat on the Michigan Basketball homepage for their take of the action as it happens. You can also follow them on Twitter @nickbaumgardner and @kmeinke.
WHERE: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.
WHEN: Saturday, 8:49 p.m.
ODDS: Michigan is favored by two points according to Sportsbook.com.
SERIES RECORD: Michigan is 5-8 all-time against Syracuse.
LAST MEETING: Michigan lost 53-50 on Nov. 26, 2010, in the semifinals of the Legends Classic in Atlantic City, NJ.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: TV: CBS; Radio: Detroit: WWJ (950 AM), Ann Arbor: WWWW (102.9 FM).
Coverage: It's been 20 years and the day is finally here: Michigan is back to the Final Four. When it's been two decades since a team has done something, it's understandable for fans, and the media that cover the team, to go a little overboard. With that in mind, we've collected some of the best coverage from throughout the week and put it into one easy-to-read package:
First it was Kansas' Jeff Withey that was talking smack about the Wolverines. Now it's C.J. Fair bringing the noise. Trey Burke and company are starting to feel a little bit like Rodney Dangerfield: no respect...no respect at all.
If Syracuse had one mission Friday afternoon, it was to prove its status as an underdog. The confident Orange boasted about mismatches, declared their 2-3 zone nearly impenetrable and went one step further. They challenged Michigan's best player -- the country's best player -- Trey Burke.
Asked to pick out a spot on the floor where he thought his team could best exploit Michigan's defense Saturday, Brandon Triche had to think for a minute. Then, the senior guard collected himself, and responded generally. "We think we've got mismatches at every position," the Syracuse senior guard said Friday. "We feel like not too many teams can stay in front of us." So that settles that.
Trey Burke is the best player in the country, according to a lot of people, but Syracuse has a point guard, too and he's pretty good. Sophomore Michael Carter-Williams is projected as an NBA lottery pick, and so is Burke. Let the games begin.
Syracuse's 2-3 zone has drawn some oohs and aahs this week. The buildup has felt similar to that for VCU's "Havoc" full-court press in the third round. Only difference: Syracuse's defense is putting its money where its mouth is. Here's a look at some of the freakish defensive numbers the Orange have put up in the tournament.
In 1993, Ann Arbor residents and longtime Michigan basketball season ticket holders Joan Raphael and Penelope Bekiares went to the Final Four to see Chris Webber and the Fab Five play. Despite the result, they had such a blast that they've gone to every Final Four since. Twenty years later, they're thrilled to have their team join them again.
Trey Burke's always been a big deal in Columbus, Ohio. But throughout the Michigan sophomore point guard's meteoric rise as a college basketball player this season, Burke's name, face, jersey and look have gone national. From Jalen Rose, Charles Barkley, Bob Knight, Kenny Smith, Greg Anthony and even rapper Lil Wayne, everyone knows Burke.
Each time Jim Boeheim has made the Final Four, Syracuse has played for the national championship on Monday night, winning it all with Carmelo Anthony in 2003. He's second only to Duke's Mike Krzyzewski with 920 wins. But there's some who pay more attention to Syracuse's NCAA tournament stumbles under Boeheim than his four Final Fours in 37 seasons.
The night before knocking off Florida in the Elite Eight at Cowboys Stadium, Glenn Robinson III got a call from his father. Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson gave his son simple instructions about what he wanted to see the next afternoon. He told his son to go out on the court, and do something he never could. Get to a Final Four.
John Beilein refused to get into detail Thursday when asked about a report claiming that Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke and junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. will depart for the NBA at season's end.
At some point in the not-so-distant past, major college sports turned into a “what have you done for me lately” situation. Now, with shorter attention spans and a news cycle that somehow finds a way to run longer than 24 hours, college athletics has cranked up a notch. Now, for many, it’s “what will you do for me next?” Yet Trey Burke manages to stay in the moment, and fans should follow his lead. Rather than wondering if Burke will turn pro, or what the Final Four will mean for recruiting, why not enjoy the chance to watch your team compete for a national championship?
This and That:
- Photo Gallery: Images from the Michigan basketball team's Friday Final Four practice
- Michigan's Mitch McGary backs off definitive return to school statement, will discuss future after season
- Best ever? Trey Burke becomes first Wooden Award winner in Michigan history
- Thousands of Michigan fans heading to Atlanta for Final Four
- Photo Gallery: AP National Player of the Year Trey Burke's award winning season in pictures
- Michigan's Mitch McGary remembers father's words as he handles growing fame
Who ya got?
Associated Press Side-by-Side comparisons:
Michigan | Syracuse
Record: 30-7 | 30-9. Advantage: Michigan.
Points per game: 75.5 | 70.8. Advantage: Michigan
Opponents' points per game: 62.9 | 58.6. Advantage: Syracuse.
Scoring margin: +12.6 | +12.2. Advantage: Michigan
Field goal percentage: .485 | .440. Advantage: Michigan
Opponents' FG pct.: .423 | .368. Advantage: Syracuse.
3-pt FG pct: .385 | .337. Advantage: Michigan
Opponents' 3-pt FG pct: .323 | .282. Advantage: Syracuse.
3-pt FG made per game: 7.6 | 5.9. Advantage: Michigan
Opponents' 3-pt FG made per game: 6.2 | 6.1. Advantage: Syracuse.
Free throw pct.: .705 |.675. Advantage: Michigan
Opponents' FT percentage: .678 | .677. Advantage: Syracuse.
FT made per game: 11.4 | 14.4. Advantage: Syracuse.
Opponents' FT made per game: 8.6 | 12.9. Advantage: Michigan
Rebounds per game: 35.2 | 38.5. Advantage: Syracuse.
Opponents' rebounds per game: 32.1 | 34.8. Advantage: Michigan
Rebounding margin: +3.1 | +3.7. Advantage: Syracuse.
Assists per game: 14.5 | 14.1. Advantage: Michigan
Opponents' assists per game: 12.5 | 13.4. Advantage: Michigan
Turnovers per game: 9.4| 12.4. Advantage: Michigan
Opponents' turnovers per game: 12.2 | 15.6. Advantage: Syracuse.
Turnover margin: +2.8 | +3.2. Advantage: Syracuse.
Steals per game: 6.2 | 9.1. Advantage: Syracuse.
Opponents' steals per game: 5.2 | 6.9. Advantage: Michigan
Blocks per game: 2.8 | 6.2. Advantage: Syracuse.
Opponents' blocks per game: 3.2 | 3.2. Advantage: None.