Michigan 61, Syracuse 56

Dylan Burkhardt

ATLANTA – For 20 minutes, Michigan’s appeared to be on its way to steamrolling another ballyhooed defensive scheme. The Wolverines had already defeated Havoc, survived Kansas and dismantled Florida. Syracuse’s oft-hyped 2-3 zone looked like it was going to be next on the victim list.

Michigan scored 36 points on just 27 first half possessions; an impressive 1.33 points per trip in the first frame. The Wolverines were patient offensively and were lifted by timely production from their bench. Michigan’s top four reserves all found the scoring column – in the first half – and combined for 16 first half points.

But the screws tightened in the second half. Michigan would score just 25 points in the second frame and the Orange cut Michigan’s lead from the 11-point half time margin all the way to just three points late in the second half. The Wolverines had the answer to Syracuse’s second half surge and mounted a 5-0 run immediately after the Orange trimmed the deficit to three points. Just as Michigan looked set to ice its victory, the Orange cut the lead to just one point with under a minute to play thanks to a James Southerland three.

Going to the free throw line with 28 seconds to play Trey Burke missed one of two free throws and left the door open for the Orange once again. Jordan Morgan would be Michigan’s final hero. The 6-foot-8 big man took a charge with 19 seconds to play as he slid in front of a Brandon Triche, who was driving for the potential tying basket. Then after Jon Horford also split a pair of free throws, the Wolverines held once again and Jordan Morgan sealed the game with a dunk to cement the 61-56 victory.

Mitch McGary had an impressive 10 point, 12 rebound and six assist performance while Tim Hardaway Jr. (13 points) and Glenn Robinson III (10 points) also reached double figures.

The win means the Wolverines will head back to the Georgia Dome on Monday and play for their second National Championship in program history against Louisville (9:23 p.m., CBS).

  • kevin

    second “official”

  • MechE

    Repeating from the game thread: Michigan’s bench went 7 of 9 for 21 points in this game

  • jeepnut


  • MGoTweeter


  • How did Triche foul out on the charge, but no free throws for Morgan? I am lost on that one

    • MechE

      Free throws are not awarded for control fouls, regardless of the bonus

  • zach

    stupid media yammering about that block/charge(?) call instead of Syracuse playing poorly. ‘Cuse’s big-shot PG finished with more fouls than assists and points combined.

    • Fab 5 Legends

      mcdonalds all americans on Syracuse, Kansas and florida…= hahahaha MICHIGAN out to prove them wrong…Charles barkley talking nonsense…should just gve credit to Michigan team

      • zach

        charles actually did blame ‘Cuse on the postgame. he said the call was way less important than the fact that they needed to make shots and didn’t

  • Fab 5 Legends

    Hail to the victors… Thank you Jordan Morgan! Im not sure why our gameplan was to eat up clock…but w/e we won…I say that because McGary had a couple easy 1…and it let Syracuse back in the game

    • Fab 5 Legends

      oh ya…thank you Spike, Caris and Horford….stepped up…when Trey and Stauskas were off

  • Joel_C

    But Syracuse had a mismatch at every position

    • GentlemanScholar

      Ha. Love it. They’re older than UM and will capitalize on their experience.

  • Mattski

    The psychology of the game’s end tends to dominate people’s assessment of the whole. The truth is that the game was M’s to lose, Beilein tried to run out the clock a little prematurely, given Burke’s shaky hand tonight, and they managed to squirm their way out with the win, anyway. It’s not as though the charge decided the game. It only MIGHT have put Syracuse in a better position to win.

    I’m already itching to hear how we match up with Louisville.

    Get some good sleep tonight, fellas.

  • Dr_ZC

    Boy obey.. When McGary committed to Michigan on ESPNU, he sheepishly declared that he would like to bring a championship to Michigan. He was not kidding….

    • GentlemanScholar

      He wasn’t. And it looks like we’re reloading for next year.

  • Joel_C

    “The win means the Wolverines will head back to the Georgia Dome on
    Monday and play for their second National Championship in program
    history against Louisville (9:23 p.m., CBS).”

    Did I really just read that? Can’t believe it. We’re actually here.

  • MGoTweeter

    couple random postgame presser comments. Anyone see Levert being interviewed by Jim Jackson? My gosh, he looks like a baby. A hero baby obvi. But he is standing next to Jackson, he looks a good couple inches taller than Jackson and he is flashing his braces. He is going to be a heck of a player once he fully grows into his body.

    The Michigan players were amazingly well spoken on the podium. I would be jumping out of my pants if I was in there position. Tremendous ambassadors for the University.

    Beilein was his usual Beilein self. Just happy for everyone else first and foremost. As selfless a human being as I have ever met.

    I will also give it up to Trice and Southerland. A really tough spot to be in for them after a tough loss and I thought both of those guys handled it very well. You could tell there was some tears and some bad feelings about everything that happened, but they represented themselves and Syracuse very well.

    Boeheim on the other hand I thought was classless at times. He got asked a couple of questions right off the bat that I thought were a little out of bounds for opening questions in that kind of presser, but he really came off as an a**. I don’t expect him to be happy, but I do think he could have handled the whole matter a lot better.

    • mstein23

      Agree, Trice and Southerland were given opportunity by the media questions to complain about calls, but they took the high road. Showed a lot of class. Props to both of them.

    • jemblue

      Boeheim was OK when asked specifically about the game, but man did he hate that question about whether or not he was coming back next season. I will say that the reporter also came off poorly in that exchange, though.

      • Joel_C

        Agree, the reporter was way more out-of-line than Boeheim I thought, not particularly the question he asked but the way he got really defensive when Boeheim didn’t like the question

  • Angman

    I’m still trying to believe that we’re in the national championship game, thinking back to what this program has gone through during those dark days. To get to this point is awesome. Great job by the kids and coaches, the bench was so huge tonight and got us this win. 40 more minutes!

  • Robert Berning

    It wasn’t a charge, it was a block. Michigan got lucky.

    • MGoTweeter

      and it wasnt a foul on burke when trice drove a few plays before hand. Syracuse got lucky. Whats your point? Refs did not decide that game.

    • mstein23

      9:23pm EST, CBS, MICHIGAN vs. Louisville. Hope you enjoy watching.

    • jemblue

      Syracuse should not have allowed itself to get in that position, where it needed to be bailed out by the officials on a bang-bang play when Triche was out of control.

    • ForeverBlue

      Trice said he should have passed, he saw Morgan in position. Instead he took it right into his chest. In real time, that was definitely a charge.

  • A2JD


    I hope Devin Booker got caught up in the game. Come on down, son!

  • A2JD

    I’m glad we don’t have to see any more of C.J. Fair this year. He carried the Orange to the near-comeback.