It had been 19 years since Michigan had made the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. But dabble in a little Trey Burke, and add in some copious amounts of the Kansas Jayhawks — who have a history of this sort of choking — and it all adds up to the best comeback of March Madness … After overtime, the final score read, 87-85, Michigan, but make no mistake: it wasn’t the Wolverines that won the game. It was their point guard. Trey Burke won this one, whether it was when he was scoring eight points in the final minute of regulation, or hitting two triples from the parking lot to send it to overtime (the second one was so deep, he had to spread his legs as he shot it), or even what he did in the extra frame by making two more deep balls, the second one right in Ben McLemore‘s mug. The dude didn’t even score in the first half, and then finished with 23 points, 10 dimes, and the throbbing hearts of thousands of Jayhawk fans … On the last possession of the game, Elijah Johnson looked like he’d turned the corner. Instead, he kicked it out to Naadir Tharpe, who wasn’t even close on the shot at the buzzer. It was a terrible way to end a game that saw McLemore wake up after falling asleep for two straight weeks (20 points) while Kansas busted out to a 14-point lead. The No. 1 seed shot 68 percent in the first half, and were gutting Michigan like a lion with a bad case of the munchies before Burke donned his Superman coat … How about Mitch McGary? He went for 25 points, 14 rebounds and a couple of enormous buckets in the OT … Louisville took care of business against No. 12 Oregon, 77-69, in one of those games that lacked any real drama. The Cards were never really tested. Even when the Ducks closed what had been an 18-point deficit to six on a Damyean Dotson pull-up with five minutes left, Louisville immediately pushed it back to double-digits. Russ Smith (31 points) was a monster off the bounce, and looked like he was four or five steps ahead of his defender on almost every possession. The ‘Ville is now going to the Elite Eight for the fourth time in the last six years … Behind a huge second half run from Seth Curry (29 points), Duke took down Michigan State to advance, 71-61. Curry canned a number of big shots after halftime, and between that and Rasheed Sulaimon‘s insistence on living at the line (12-for-14), the Spartans slowly wilted despite dominating the glass … And Florida Gulf Coast’s incredible Cinderella run is finally over. They lost to their neighbors from Florida, 62-50. But it wasn’t easy. FGC jumped out to a quick lead and then battled the Gators in a slugfest of a second half … Mike Rosario (14 points) had the play of the day when he threw the ball off an opponent’s back at almost half-court, and then taking it all the way in for a dunk … Keep reading to hear about LeBron James’ revenge game…
LeBron James was definitely still angry after Chicago took his shot at history, and then literally almost took his head off. The Hornets were simply innocent bystanders who got caught up in a superstar’s wrath during Miami’s 108-89 blowout. James (36 points) banged seven triples before Erik Spoelstra called off the hounds super early, keeping him from going for double-digit three-pointers … So we’re sure you heard Danny Ainge calling LeBron’s whining over fouls “embarrassing.” Well Pat Riley fired back at Ainge, saying, “Danny Ainge needs to STFU and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner going when he was a player. I know that because I coached against him.” … The Clippers better hope they grab that No. 3 seed in the West because there’s NO WAY they have a chance against the Spurs in the second round. San Antonio won last night, 104-102, after getting a throwback night from Tim Duncan. The Big Swim went for 34 points and 11 boards, and his three-point play (on a jump shot) with 2.2 seconds left proved to be the game-winner (Duncan broke out a strut afterward that was almost Tupac-esque). … With the Clippers, you’re almost waiting for something stupid to happen down the stretch of a close game (DeAndre Jordan doing something, anything, besides dunking, Blake Griffin shooting a three-pointer, Vinny Del Negro screwing up everything possible that has to do with “coaching”). Even Chris Paul (14 points, 12 assists) got sucked into the mediocrity; he got stripped by Boris Diaw on the team’s second-to-last possession, and then airballed a shot at the buzzer … In related news, Tissot is giving you a chance to win a Tony Parker PRS 330 Limited Edition watch. Just “Like” the Facebook page and guess the winning team of the tournament (there’s only eight teams left… even you can’t screw this one up) … A similar thing went down in OKC’s eight-point loss to Minnesota. During the biggest possesions of the game, OKC’s offense was just terrible, like something you’d see out of a video game. Kevin Durant (36 points) barely touched the ball. You had Thabo Sefolosha dribbling around like he’s Steve Nash. Russell Westbrook (18 points, nine assists) threw up a couple of his customary terrible pull-ups. And then Serge Ibaka took a running floater from nearly the foul line that should’ve gotten him benched for a week … You know times are changing in Washington when after they blew a game in Orlando last night, 97-92, the broadcast team said it was “clearly one of the most disappointing losses of the season.” Only months ago, they were just lucky to win a game. John Wall had 35 points and nine boards in the loss, and even got Stan Van Gundy to admit yesterday that he was wrong about his franchise player potential. In fact, the Notorious S.V.G. believes Wall has had a bigger impact on his team than any player in the NBA this year … In Boston’s 118-107 win over the Hawks, Paul Pierce dropped his third triple-double of the season (20 points, 10 boards, 10 assists), but the most impressive thing he did all night was get Rajon Rondo smiling and laughing when he checked out for good in the last minute … In other scores from Friday night: Toronto took care of the Pistons by 17, getting 21 points from both Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan; Philly beat Cleveland by 10 after Evan Turner finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds; Denver destroyed the Nets by 22, holding Brook Lopez to just 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting; Zach Randolph‘s 21 points and 12 boards led Memphis over Houston, 103-94; Mo Williams put up 28 points in Utah’s huge 10-point win over the Blazers; and the Knicks beat Charlotte by nine behind another crazy night from J.R. Smith (37 points). Swish became the first player in franchise history to have three-straight 30-point games off the bench, and in the final few minutes, faint chants of MVP starting drifting down from the upper deck … We’re out like Vinny Del Negro’s coaching clipboard.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook