Wolverines advance to national championship! - FOX 32 News Chicago

Wolverines advance to national championship!

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ATLANTA (AP) -

Michigan is more than just five fabulous players.

No, this is quite a team -- all the way down the roster.

Fearlessly attacking Syracuse's suffocating zone in the first half, getting big contributions off the bench, and hanging on for dear life at the end, the Wolverines advanced to the national championship game with a 61-56 victory over the Orange in the Final Four on Saturday night.

"We've been a team all year," said coach John Beilein, whose Wolverines were playing in the Final Four for the first time since 1993, when the Fab Five lost for the second straight time in the national title game. "It was great."

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 a major overhaul.

Louisville was established as a 4½-point title game favorite.

Don't expect that to bother the brash young Wolverines a bit.

They showed they could win even when their best weapon, Associated Press player of the year Trey Burke, was having a really ugly night.

He scored just seven points on 1-of-8 shooting.

"We know Trey is our leader, and sometimes he's not going to have a game like he's had all season," said Tim Hardaway Jr., who led Michigan with 13 points. "That's when our team stepped up."

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.

"Jordan is our best charge-taker," Beilein said.

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 for a dunk with just over a second remaining.

Syracuse was looking to give 68-year-old Jim Boeheim another title, a decade after the Orange won it all in their last trip to the Final Four. Boeheim has no plans to retire.

"I told you I'm not going to answer that question unless you ask that of every coach," Boeheim snapped at a reporter when asked about his future. "I never indicated at any time that I'm not coming back."

Michigan won this game in the opening 20 minutes.

"I thought we got off to a really bad start defensively in the first half," Boeheim said. "We just didn't have the movement that we've had, and Michigan took advantage of it. Our offense was not good in the first half or the second half."

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