Trey Burke has shot to get Michigan back to Final Four

Florida's Scottie Wilbekin passes back out from between Florida Gulf Coast's Chase Fieler and Sherwood Brown during the Gators' 62-50 win Friday. Getty Images
Florida's Scottie Wilbekin passes back out from between Florida Gulf Coast's Chase Fieler and Sherwood Brown during the Gators' 62-50 win Friday. Getty Images
Posted: April 01, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas - Trey Burke was a 16-month-old toddler the last time Michigan was playing this late in the NCAA tournament.

That regional final 19 years ago, a loss that ended the Fab Five era, was played in a building that no longer exists. Where Reunion Arena once stood near downtown Dallas is now a vacant lot about 20 minutes from where the Wolverines finally get another chance to get back to the Final Four.

"It's definitely crazy," Burke said Saturday. "Just to get this program moving back in the right direction means a lot to us."

No. 4 seed Michigan (29-7) plays SEC regular-season champion and No. 3 seed Florida (29-7) for the South Regional title on the raised court at ultramodern Cowboys Stadium on Sunday.

The Wolverines advanced largely because of Burke, the sophomore and Big Ten player of the year who scored 23 points - all after halftime - as they overcame a 14-point deficit against top seed Kansas. They forced overtime when Burke hit a long, tying three-pointer with 4.2 seconds left in regulation and won, 87-85, in overtime.

"Yeah, I was surprised at how far I was," Burke admitted after seeing multiple replays of the shot that may just become known as the Fab Three.

Burke also had 10 assists, making him the first player to have 20 points and 10 assists in the NCAA round of 16 since 1987. The last to do it? A Providence player known as "Billy the Kid" - a.k.a. Florida coach Billy Donovan, who will be on the opposite bench when his Gators play in their third consecutive regional final.

Florida, 62-50 winners over Florida Gulf Coast Friday night, has been to this point each of the last two years, but it hasn't been further since winning consecutive national championships under Donovan in 2006 and 2007.

In both of those regional final losses - to Louisville last year and in overtime to Butler in 2011 - the Gators had 11-point leads in the second half. This is now the last chance for seniors Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy to get a title of their own.

After falling behind by 15-4 early against Florida Gulf Coast, the high-flying No. 15 seed everybody knows now after an unprecedented run to the NCAA round of 16, the Gators recovered with a 16-0 run late in the first half to go ahead to stay.

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