Michigan

MICHIGAN MADNESS: Wolverines advance to Championship Game with 61-56 win over Syracuse

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Mitch McGary and the Michigan Wolverines withstood a second half Syracuse surge to hold on for a 61-56 win to advance to the National Championship Game.

Finishing the first half with a 21-8 run the Wolverines went into the break with a 36-25 lead over Syracuse after getting some very strong play from the bench. That solid play from Michigan’s reserves helped offset Trey Burke scoring just three points in the first after going 1 for 5 from the field.

But it wasn’t just Michigan’s bench that put Michigan ahead big at the half. Mitch McGary continued to make John Beilein look like a genius with seven rebounds and four assists in the first half alone. McGary also came up with two big blocks to further spark the Michigan team.

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In the second half, the Orange were able to slowly get themselves back into the game thanks to a 10-2 run to trail 45-41 with 11:08 remaining. Syracuse’s C.J. Fair scored 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting at that point.

After Tim Hardaway Jr. responded with a three-pointer, Syracuse went on a 4-0 run to cut the Michigan lead to 48-45 lead with 7:41 left in the game.

The Wolverines were once again though able to pad their lead going on a 5-0 run before Jim Boeheim called timeout with 3:46 remaining and trailing 53-45. Still plenty of time for Boeheim to draw something up and get back within striking distance.

And that’s exactly what Syracuse did.

The Orange then scored four unanswered to get within four points but ultimately were unable to take advantage of Michigan struggling from the line late in the game. And despite his own struggles with free throws, McGary was truly the difference posting 10 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and two blocks. Five of McGary’s blocks game on offense which helped contribute to Michigan’s 20 offensive boards in the game.

The Wolverines now advance to play the No. 1 overall team in Louisville Monday night.

About Adam Hernandez

Adam Hernandez is the founder of The Majors Sports Network and EMPIRE Media LLC.

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