The Michigan Wolverines defeated Syracuse to reach the Championship game of the 2013 NCAA tournament. The Michigan Wolverines Final Four appearance was an unlikely occurrence based on how the team finished the season. But giving credit where credit is due Michigan has turned a questionable Big Ten conference finish into a chance at a National Championship.
The Michigan Wolverines final four run has much to do with the dominance of Mitch McGary in the paint. All throughout the tourney McGary has been unstoppable giving balance to the blue and gold offense. He has also been dominant on the glass. His play, especially on this level, is what the Wolverines were missing at times during the Big Ten season. Mitch McGary’s inside presence has opened up the Wolverines perimeter shooting and stretches even the most well designed defensive scheme.
The Michigan Wolverines lost 5 of their last ten Big Ten regular season games. A stretch that netted them a disappointing 4th place finish in the Big Ten Standings . That stretch of games and a 2nd round loss in the Big Ten tournament may have been the adversity the team needed to sharpen their edge. An edge that has allowed them to cut through a # 1 seeded Kansas, #3 seeded Florida and #4 seeded Syracuse. The Michigan Wolverines must now defeat another #1 seed to finish the job.
It has been years since the Michigan Wolverines basketball program has been relevant. The Michigan program has seen the dominance and recognition from the fab five era literally erased by scandal. This Michigan Wolverines Final Four appearance means redemption for a program that has been struggling to get back on the college basketball map. It also signals a change in the perception that they are the 2nd best program in the state. The Michigan State Spartans are going to have to make a run of their own next year to erase the prevailing thought that the Michigan Wolverines have recaptured their status as the state’s top basketball program.
You can watch the Michigan Wolverines Final Four run continue against the Louisville Cardinals on CBS at 9:23pm