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Final Four notebook: Beilein took long path to 1st Final Four

| Friday, April 5, 2013, 10:03 p.m.

John Beilein's path to his first Final Four has been long, winding and rather unexpected. He is a rare coach who's never been an assistant and didn't get his first Division I job until 17 years into the business. He's had pit stops at the high school, community college, Division II and Division I levels. He's a grandfather who grew up one of nine siblings in their slice of basketball-crazed Western New York. “In many ways, it made it more difficult to become a better coach sometimes because I couldn't shortcut,” Beilein said. “I couldn't sit next to a great coach and (he'd) say, ‘You should never try that in a game.' I would try it in a game. We would get our butts kicked. I would learn by sleeping on the couch that night because I didn't sleep all night that night.” Beilein is 0-9 all-time against Syracuse, but only one of those losses came at Michigan. He was 0-6 against the Orange at West Virginia.

• Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke added to his postseason honors when he was named the John R. Wooden Award winner. Burke edged Indiana'sVictor Oladipo in the balloting, finishing with 2,808 points to Oladipo's 2,718. Creighton's Doug McDermott finished third. Georgetown's Otto Porter and Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk rounded out the top five. Burke, named the Associated Press Player of the Year on Thursday, is averaging 18.8 points and 6.8 assists for the Wolverines, who play Syracuse on Saturday in the Final Four.

• The Orange have surrendered 183 points in four NCAA Tournament games, the fewest by a team since the 64-team bracket debuted in 1985. They're the first team in the shot-clock era to hold three tournament teams under 50 points.

— Wire reports

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