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March 30, 2013

Burke leads Michigan’s rally over KU

ARLINGTON, Texas — Trey Burke never doubted he could lead Michigan to its deepest NCAA tournament run since the Fab Five era.

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 Friday night.

“We never lost faith out there,” Burke said. “We stuck it out together.”

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.

“Well, this will certainly go down as one of the toughest games that obviously we’ve been a part of and I’ve been a part of,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “But props to Michigan for making all the plays late.”

That’s for sure.

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.

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