John Wooden Award winner Trey Burke and the Michigan Wolverines face their biggest challenge of the NCAA tournament Saturday in Atlanta, Ga. Syracuse’s 2-3 zone is among their biggest concerns in this Final Four matchup.
The Maize and Blue look to be the first team in the postseason to dismantle Orange head coach Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone defense. Michigan head coach John Beilein also looks to improve his 0-9 record vs. Boeheim—a meaningless stat considering none of those nine teams had Burke.
Tim Hardaway Jr. remembers the last time these two teams met. ‘Cuse last met the Wolverines on November 26, 2010—edging them out 53-50. The Orange shouldn’t expect to hold Hardaway Jr. to just eight points this time, though.
Michigan has proved that, no matter what, it can’t be counted out. Burke and company trailed top-seed Kansas by as many as 14 points, but managed to come back and pull off an overtime victory. Burke’s heroics and the team’s cohesive performance as a whole carried Michigan the furthest it’s been since the Fab Five.
Four teams remain. Let’s take a look at Michigan’s three biggest concerns as they take on Syracuse for an opportunity to play either Louisville or Wichita State in the championship.