Lore Comment Count

Brian March 30th, 2013 at 12:51 PM

3/29/2013 – Michigan 87, Kansas 85 (OT) – 29-7, Elite Eight


Every year.

Every year from now until the country collapses into warring fiefdoms because of peak oil or some other nonsense, Trey Burke rising up from 30 feet over a 6'8" guy will make an appearance on someone's reel of insane NCAA tournament moments. Even after the collapse, if things go badly for you and you are captured anywhere from Topeka to Kansas City you can escape by just uttering the words "Trey Burke" and watching your captors seize helplessly. Collect their weapons and go. Once recovered they will be in a foul mood.

It's going to go in every time. You won't have that sickening lurch in your stomach as the bottom drops out of your hopes and then slowly tick-tick-ticks up the rollercoaster as the improbable trajectory seems true. Josh Bartlestein is way ahead of you on this, and you'll see Bartlestein start celebrating two beats before anyone else in the arena can figure out if they're going to live or die. This time, it'll go down. This time, every time.

Michigan wouldn't have been in this position if the rim had been kind at Ohio State, or at Wisconsin, or at home against Indiana. They'd have popped up a seed or two and avoided a team like the Jayhawks, maybe even gotten the gilded path the Buckeyes got and are determined to make look like the Bataan Death March. Thanks to a delirious two and a half minutes no one has been able to figure out yet, and probably never will, Michigan erased a ten-point deficit, and then that happened, and then Trey Burke did that twice more in overtime and Michigan's where they thought they might be when they walked into Assembly Hall the #1 team in the nation: playing a three seed for the right to go to the Final Four.

At this point I'm not sure that even matters that much. I mean, yeah, obviously it matters. But that shot is going in, over and over, for everyone, forever. It is written on cuneiform tablets found in ancient Sumeria, and a tatoo on Charles Barkley's forehead.


via @ggoodness56

I'll Probably Embed This On The Next Four Posts

Also a little more of the end of the game:

And Burke talking to Sager:

Because Twitter Will Kill Me If We Don't

There is a "WE HAD SUBS IT WAS CRAZY" shirt.


Mystify your friends.


imageIma let you block five shots Jeff Withey, but Mitch McGary is the greatest post of all time in this game. Wait, first Withey: the guy blocked a Trey Burke floater on a pick and roll, despite being a good five feet from the shooter. Boggle. Trey agrees:

He kind of surprised me the first half, once I got to the free throw line and shot.  He had a piece of it.  I think he was deep in the paint and he still got a piece of it.

Michigan shot 56% from two against him, boggle.

Okay, Mitch. First, inhale.


12/17 from the floor against Jeff Withey with 5 offensive rebounds and 9 defensive rebounds. Three steals. An assist. One turnover. One blocked shot and a second that was so clean in this world of "you can do anything as long as your arms aren't fouling a dude" that the sound of the whistle made me leap from my seat and cry "noooooo," Vader-style.

McGary spearheaded another blowout on the boards against Kansas, with Michigan doubling up the Jayhawks in offensive rebounds and winning the tempo-free battle 33% to 23%. He put up 25 points on 19 shot equivalents and generated at least eight extra possessions for M. He didn't pick up a foul until deep into the second half. I think we've just seen the best game of his career.

McGary has definitively arrived now. It's one thing to beat up on Juvonte Reddic and the four dwarves, entirely another to leave scattered bits of Jayhawk in your wake. The finer points of defense still elude him; that's the difference between McGary being pretty dang good next year or All American. That and free throws.

Now that we're used to the hugeness and the energy, the striking thing about McGary is how skilled he is. He hit an elbow jumper in this one and followed that up with a late turnaround from the short corner that was some Duncan business. His bunnies go down at a huge rate because he can slam them down when appropriate but also has excellent body control and the ability to shoot with both hands. Most of McGary's makes don't even touch the rim.

['shop via Ace.]

Relatedly. At halftime I made a comment about how I missed the version of Kansas that shot itself in the foot until it ran out of feet and just kept shooting, and more than one person said something about how they missed Burke. I was a little confused by this, and then the TV put up some chyron stating that he had zero points. Oh.

I didn't really feel that. Michigan had over a point per possession at halftime largely thanks to Burke getting the offense set up, and if he missed shots they often drew so much attention that GRIII or Mitch McGary was able to get a putback. Faced with the prospect of taking on Withey, he mostly got his teammates involved. Five assists is a lot of assists in a half.

I was frustrated by a thirty-foot bomb that came early in the shot clock and set up a break the other way. It felt selfish. Even that turned out to be necessary range-finding as Trey unleashed his inner Jimmer in the second half.

Win graph. Per reader request, the win graph from Kenpom:


Michigan's win probability dipped to 0.6 with 2:33 left, down ten. That was one in a hundred—one in two hundred. Trey's shot took Michigan from 10% to just over 30%.

Jordan Morgan, scrapping. Morgan only got five minutes, about which more later. This bullet is a feel-good bullet about Morgan dusting himself off and turning in two huge plays:

  • scrapping to the ground after Hardaway's missed three pointer and eventually getting the ball to GRIII for his acrobatic layup.
  • forcing Nutpunch Johnson to orbit so far around the corner that by the time he realized Hardaway wasn't leaving McLemore, anything he threw up was going off he side of the backboard.

His boxscore contributions were thin (though I guess three rebounds in five minutes is pretty good), but Michigan did need him and he did come through. Beilein lifted McGary for him on that final possession; it's hard to see McGary pushing Johnson as far outside as Morgan ended up doing. Also, Morgan eventually decided to do nothing:

"I was going to go up with (Johnson) and I saw he was looking to pass. I backed off a little bit but the angle he had wasn't necessarily the best," Morgan said. "He didn't have a good angle to put it off the backboard, so he got caught too far under and if it had been a floater, that would have been tougher than putting it off the glass."

That zen decision is not something McGary specializes in.

Karma is going to punch you in the nuts. Speaking of ol' Nutpunch Johnson, he picked up an obvious charge shortly after being assessed the flagrant one, sat, came back, picked up a cheap one on an out of bounds play, and sat yet more time. He ended up getting 20 or so minutes in the last 25; he hit some shots… and had 0 assists to 5 turnovers, not even counting the mess he made of the last play. Oh and that McGary statline. Oh and missing the front end right before Burke blew everyone's brains up.

My only regret is that Johnson is a senior—otherwise we would have a delightful couple years of competing nicknames for the guy in the blogosphere.

Spike. I don't get it. Michigan gave Albrecht 11 minutes, and I was confused by about 10 of those—Burke sat for one. In this game it seemed like Michigan badly needed post defense, especially at the four. Kevin Young, Jamari Traylor and Perry Ellis combined to go 11/14, give or take an Ellis attempt against McGary when Withey was on the bench.

At 5'11", Albrecht is not noted for his post defense. While he was perfect for the up-and-down VCU outing, having him out there for a big chunk of time right after halftime was odd. He barely touched the ball on offense, and Michigan's defense with him out there was pretty porous.

Morgan at the four seemed like the move. Robinson had a decent night on offense and added three steals of his own, but, man, 11/14. Am I crazy here?

Stauskas took it easy, man. I predicted a tough night for Stauskas. He did okay. His attempts were relatively limited, which was fine. He took only good shots, hitting all three inside the arc and 1/4 from three—the OT miss was a killer. 11 points on 9 shot equivalents is decent output; he also had three assists.

But like man, if I can scream "make a free throw" in anguish at anyone, it's Stauskas. That missed front end would have paired with the foul on McGary's block in a Jacob Marley tapdance duet if Michigan hadn't pulled their asses out of the fire.

They really need an advantage call or something. If your foul does not prevent a fast break from fast breaking, the refs should just stick their arms out wildly to indicate a foul is coming but they have chosen to let the play go because the offense is in a fast break state.

If only my predictions weren't literally taking whatever Kenpom says and repeating it because I think predicting sporting events is an incredibly foolish pastime, as last night's game amply demonstrates. By which I mean, suck it local media!

Local writers
Nick Baumgardner, MLive: Kansas (66-61)
Kyle Meinke, MLive: Kansas (67-61)
Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press: Kansas (67-63)
Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press: Kansas (70-61)
Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press: Kansas (72-68)
Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press: Kansas (71-65)
Rod Beard, Detroit News: Kansas (72-65)
Matt Charboneau, Detroit News: Kansas (74-68)
John Niyo, Detroit News: Kansas (67-63)
Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News: Kansas (72-68)
Brian Cook, MGoBlog: Michigan (by one)

(I also expected Kansas to win in my heart of hearts.)


Burke postgame from GBW:

It finally went down:

Trey Burke has taken the last shot for Michigan before but come up short several times.

Burke has seen his share of misses at the buzzer: Last season at Arkansas and this season at Ohio State, at Wisconsin and at home against Indiana.

One out of five is… fantastic right this instant.


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Trey Burke may now officially be a folk hero, and Michigan's season is still alive.

Sample size. Woo.

Before the game, Michigan coach John Beilein wasn't ready to call that a slump or get a good feeling about McLemore's struggles.

"He's played how many games in postseason? Two?" Beilein said. "I wouldn't say that's a good sample size."

Presser transcript. Michigan has freshmen. Wojo. You did what to who?

Kansas center Jeff Withey was asked before his team faced Michigan whether he could dominate Mitch McGary.

"Yeah, definitely," Withey said. "He's not very tall. ... We'll definitely have to try taking advantage of my height."

That got telephoned into this:

"(McGary) looked at me last night, right before we went to bed, and he said, 'Did you hear what he said about me?" said Glenn Robinson III, McGary's roommate. "'He said, 'I’m not excited about his height. I don’t think anything about his height. And I expect to dominate him.'

"I looked at him and was like, ‘Oh. We’ll show him.’"

If Withey had said his bit a couple days earlier by the time it got to McGary it would have described him as a midget toad, so Kansas actually got off easy there. Seniors hugging and such. Rapping and ancient Chinese texts. Horford is a trip yo:

there was forward Jon Horford, off in a far corner ... reading a book.

One more time: Jon Horford, 15 minutes after advancing to the Elite Eight in one his school's most exciting tournament games ever, was reading a book.

Reporter: Jon. Jon. Jon.


Still no answer.

Finally, after a shout from point guard Spike Albrecht, Horford looks up from his ruffled pages.

"Hey man, what's up?" he said, apparently ignorant to or indifferent of the fact reading a book at this time is not customary. And he wasn't exactly thumbing the pages of Sports Illustrated, either.

Horford was reading the "Tao Te Ching," an ancient Chinese text believed to have been penned between the sixth century and fourth century BC.

A first look at Florida.



March 30th, 2013 at 1:11 PM ^

if the rim had been kind at Ohio State, or at Wisconsin, or at home against Indiana

It's not this season, but I'm adding Arkansas and against Duke to that list. For a while it seemed like we never got the breaks when it came to last second shots, and watched other teams hit them or celebrate crazily.

Then Trey made his magic fun-time happen


March 30th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

What I loved about those last 2 minutes in regulation and OT was that it was truly a team effort. Robinson had the steal/drunk and clutch reverse layup off the miss. Hardaway knocked down a big 3. McGary snagged an offensive board and put it in off the glass. Burke did end of game Burke things.

Florida has some bigs, but isn't as tough inside. It'll be a fun game.


March 30th, 2013 at 1:39 PM ^

I'm sorry the volume is so low on the last two videos. I was capturing from my screen and I guess my system audio was turned down.


March 30th, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

"I think we've just seen the best game of his career."  Brian

I strongly dissagree...this was not McGary's best game of his career.  It may not yet even be his best game of the season.


March 30th, 2013 at 2:03 PM ^

If Brian is going to name this post "Lore", he needs to offset that with a statistical post named "Data".  That should bring out your inner geek B4 the next game.

tee wrecks

March 30th, 2013 at 2:09 PM ^

Self's expression said it all when he signaled that he wanted a "full" timeout after Burke hit the bomb at the end of regulation.  It looked like he was wondering if the refs had something longer than a full timeout to offer.  Maybe an intermission? A power outage?  An adjournment?


March 30th, 2013 at 2:13 PM ^

Mitch McGary (on playing senior Kansas star Jeff Withey): I expect to dominate him.

Mitch McGary may have just become my favorite player.

Also, between his interest in wandering in general and calmly reading Chinese texts after that game, Jon Horford is as interesting of a basketball player as I've ever seen.


March 30th, 2013 at 2:25 PM ^

Inspired by Brian's post "Exponent Time" and the surreal events of last night I started typing out a poem along the lines of Casey at the Bat. I needed something to do after the game because sleep was unlikely. It's been done before, I'm an amateur when it comes to poetry/writing and this version needs some more work. But I present you with the MGoBlog version of

Screw Mudville

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Michigan squad that day:
A contest in the JerryDome which last was a poor display.
And the Jayhawks with their giants and all their fans that came,
Thought for sure, without a doubt, that they would win the game.
"The michigan shooters won't make their shots in such an open space,
And the lack of height and quality depth brings a smile to Withey's face."
"For Michigan to win this game, they'll need a Big House full of luck."
"And the Big Ten is over rated," said our favorite analyst, Chuck.
And as the game began, McGary's dong received a punch,
The worst imaginable omen now for the souls of the Mgo- bunch.
As the game progressed it seemed quite clear that nothing could be done,
At the half Hardaway had only 5, while usual-hero Burke had none.
Down only 6 at the break some said "We haven't played our best,
If we get our stuff together we may yet win this contest."
But as the 2nd half continued every bounce went KU's way,
The Jayhawks pushed the lead to 14 with under 7 left to play.
"The Liveblog is no use this time, our boys have given up,
GR111 is gassed, Stauskas is off, McGary is still a pup."
The free throws clanged off iron, the triples did the same,
It looked as if there was no hero to help Michigan win this game.
Finally Robinson tipped a pass and raced ahead to slam it through,
And Burke clamped down before half court to get the ball back from KU.
The next play he drove the lane and dished to an open McGary,
With dong of steel and balls of brass, "This Withey kid ain't that scary."
And at the other end Mitch spied Releford driving through the lane,
So he stopped him cold but was called for a foul, the ref is clearly insane.
"Kill him, kill the ref!" shouted all the maize and blue so loud,
The commentators agreed, "All ball," they mumbled with the crowd.
After two free points for Kansas, Burke  dribbled around the arc,
Withey stepped out, Trey stepped back, his triple hit the mark.
As the clock dipped under a minute, the Jayhawk hands began to pound,
But Morgan cut off McLemore and pulled down a defensive rebound.
At the other end Hardaway misfired, but Morgan dove along the floor, 
Robinson snagged the loose ball and dipped under Withey for the score.
The lead was trimmed to three but less than 30 seconds remained,
All around the arena and beyond Jayhawk faces became quite pained.
After trading points, the lead still three, Johnson drew a foul,
"He shouldn't even be on the floor!" Michigan fans began to howl.
Just a point would surely mean that the Wolverine season is all but done,
But Johnson commits a basketball sin, missing the first of a one and one.
Timmy pulls down the rebound and quickly hands to Burke,
No timeouts, down by three, with 12 seconds with which to work.
So many options for this team, full of shooters one and all,
But there's no doubt who will have it last, it's time for Hero Ball.
Burke dribbled to his left around the space where McGary fell,
Back 30 feet or 30 miles it was really hard to tell,
Practically from the stat table, no defender could reach him there,
He picked up his dribble and raised his arms clutching that leather covered air.
And now Burke lightly holds the ball and now he lets it fly,
This shot could be the deciding point of how we view this guy.
March Madness holds it's collective breath as the arc tears through the dome,
And a wave of maize explodes forth as the ball finally rattles home.
With only a few seconds left and the comeback now complete,
The Wolverines have pulled off an unbelievable tourney feat.
Onward, Michigan made their shots in an intense extra frame,
Kansas though they tried so hard, couldn't quite do the same.
Kansas fans felt the final dong punch in a karmic twist of fate,
Mitch, Tim, Trey and the boys are all headed to the Elite Eight!
Great or Greatest? will be the choices as we look back and debate,
But now there seems to be no doubt, Burke is no longer "merely great."
And somewhere couches are burning, and somewhere subs are had,
And somewhere Wisconsin mutters that the backboards must have gone bad.
And the liveblog lives forever, and muppets can be seen,
And no matter where or when, it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine!
I was going to do one of those cool picture posts but I have a sick kid and I don't have the time. If someone else wants to do it, feel free.


March 30th, 2013 at 2:58 PM ^

thanks russale2012!

Sorry about the hard to read formatting. I pasted from notepad and it wrapped each line in div tags. I was going to try to clean it up and make the text size smaller but I don't know a simple way to do that. Maybe I'll try to repost it in a little while.


March 30th, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^


You can go ahead and do it if you like. I was just going to make the text size smaller so the words didn't wrap down to the next line. But I'm not even sure how to do that! Your posting skills are probably far superior to mine.

Maybe it's easy enough to read as it is? I'll look into the new options but I'm going to eat with my wife first.

Thanks again!

Wisconsin Wolverine

March 30th, 2013 at 3:41 PM ^

Not only is this poem clever & entertaining, but it's also a very complete summary of the key events in the game!  Except not only did it include the things that happened, but how we all felt about it at the time.  I will be able to read this years from now & remember how it felt to watch this game.


March 30th, 2013 at 3:28 PM ^

Knowledge and humility

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

March 30th, 2013 at 3:41 PM ^

This team is proving that you don't need to be the "best" team on the court, but rather be the team with the most determination, clutch shots, smarts and effort will win. Very exciting team to watch and enjoy.

Go Blue!

Kermits Blue Key

March 30th, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

I live in Raleigh, NC and my wife and I just went up to the local basketball courts to shoot around and enjoy the weather. While we were there, a group of 11 or so high school kids started playing near us when one of them shouted, "Did you see that Michigan game last night?? Trey Burke was like...." and he emulated the 30' shot. Burke's name was mentioned at least 10 more times before we left. It made me proud to be sporting my Michigan shirt.


March 30th, 2013 at 4:36 PM ^

Anybody else notice the shootgun sound when the ball hits the rim/net. That was cool (story bro) and should be amplified louder in all future postings.


March 30th, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

So probably most of us agree Johnson should have been ejected but are glad he was there to help as at the end. What he did was deplorable, but do people really think it was his call. I suggest the bench told him to do this to send a message about screening. Bill Self should be fined and suspended. Yes, dirty player but even more classless coach.


March 30th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

I want back and watched the final five minutes of regulation and overtime (about 5 times) and noticed that Johnson had a lot of costly mistakes that helped Michigan come back.  He had some bad passes that turned into turnovers, missed shots, and a 10 second violation.  He was the Kansas player mainly responsible for the comeback.  


March 30th, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

So probably most of us agree Johnson should have been ejected but are glad he was there to help as at the end. What he did was deplorable, but do people really think it was his call. I suggest the bench told him to do this to send a message about screening. Bill Self should be fined and suspended. Yes, dirty player but even more classless coach.

kevin holt

March 30th, 2013 at 4:41 PM ^

Here's something I want an answer or discussion on, kind of similar to the advantage discussion:

Apparently Bill Self said it was a mistake not to foul before Burke shot The Shot. Anyone else feel like that would be dirty or cheating? I know basketball is all about fouling to gain an advantage, and we had the advantage to foul earlier. However, just because the refs have to call a foul when they see it, using that to make sure we can't make the shot seems like using the technicalities of the rules to win, when the shooting should dictate the winner.

If we got fouled, we'd have to shoot one and then go for a rebound, probably, but it just seems cheap to do that. I don't think a team should ever gain an advantage for fouling, but that's sometimes the nature of the game. I've also had times this year when I thought one-and-ones were awful and needed to change. I feel differently (Nutpunch Johnson) after that game, but I still feel like the team getting fouled should be allowed to pick between a one-and-one or an inbound. That's not the main thing I'm trying to discuss though.

TL;DR: if Self told his players to foul before The Shot, is it cheap, and how can it be changed?

(P.S. the refs might have just let it go, too.)


March 30th, 2013 at 4:49 PM ^

Honestly, it's a part of the game.  It won't change.  Things can go wrong when that's even done anyway (see: the theory each coach holds in situations like those; Self and many say foul, hundreds more say don't foul).  If anything one could argue that teams down a few points in the end are cheating by fouling the team to "stop the clock".  It's just how basketball has evolved and how the last few minutes of a basketball game are MUCH different than the first 37-40.

Kansas didn't foul and TREY HAD SUBS..IT WAS CRAZY ANYWAY


March 30th, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

Apparently Bill Self said it was a mistake not to foul before Burke shot The Shot. Anyone else feel like that would be dirty or cheating?

No. I see it as similar to deliberately committing pass interference in football or issuing an intentional walk in baseball. All three are cases of a team technically penalizing itself but avoiding a potentially worse outcome by playing on.  Almost every sport has some kind of quasi-loophole like that.


March 30th, 2013 at 6:16 PM ^

YES, FINALLY!!!! Someone else who thinks there should be an advantage call in basketball. The existence of such a rule was a life changing, existential experience for me when I first got into soccer years ago.