Michigan holds off Syracuse to reach title game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
ATLANTA — Don't call these guys the Fab Five.
Michigan's latest group of young stars is determined to leave its own legacy.
Attacking Syracuse's suffocating zone defense in the first half with 3-pointers, crisp passing and a fearless attitude, the Wolverines advanced to the national championship game with a 61-56 victory over the Orange in the Final Four on Saturday night.
Michigan (31-7) will be going for its first national title since 1989 when it faces Louisville on Monday at the Georgia Dome. Syracuse (30-10) failed to complete an all-Big East final in the fabled league's last season before breaking up.
The Wolverines got sloppy in the second half and had to hang on at the end, winning despite a tough night for Associated Press Player of the Year Trey Burke. He scored only seven points.
That made for some nervous moments as Michigan got a little too conservative trying to run out the clock.
Trailing, 58-56, the Orange had a chance to force overtime.
But Brandon Triche was called for a foul when Jordan Morgan stepped in to take the charge with 19.2 seconds left.
After Jon Horford made only one of two free throws, Syracuse called timeout and set up a play.
Curiously, the Orange didn't attempt a tying 3-pointer. Instead, Trevor Cooney drove the lane looking to put up an easier shot.
But the ball was swatted away, Michigan saved it from going out of bounds and Morgan wound up taking a long pass the other way.
He threw down a thunderous slam with just over a second remaining to cap the triumph.
With Burke struggling (he made only one shot from the field), Michigan got an unexpected contribution off the bench from freshmen Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht.
LeVert scored eight points and Albrecht chipped in with six — all of them crucial after the Wolverines went cold in the second half.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: At start, are Pens already finished?
- Morton, Pirates blank Red Sox in series opener
- Penguins notebook: Martin not concerned about expiring contract
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger still hurting after hard hit from Ravens’ Upshaw
- City of Pittsburgh detective, 2 boys finalize adoption before judge
- Gorman: Quitting not the answer
- Steelers notebook: RT Gilbert not in danger of losing his job
- Colleges in Western Pa. to emphasize curricula for energy, industrial fields
- Guido: Friday night lights brighter for Pirates
- Knoch’s stellar ‘D’ sets tone in 6th straight shutout
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Shaler’s Ryan Landry, Mt. Lebanon’s Laura Pryor