Elite-8: Michigan Returns to Final Four after 20 Years, Louisville Stomps Duke


No. 4 seed Michigan reached the Final Four for the first time since 1992 after crushing No. 3 seed Florida, 79-59, in the Elite Eight on March 31 in Arlington, Texas.

It was the first Final Four appearance since the famous “Fab Five” era, when Michigan’s roster included five of the best basketball players in the nation, including former NBA stars Chris Weber, Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard.

Michigan (30-7) is now led by a new group of star players such as sophomore guard Trey Burke and freshman forward Glenn Robinson III and junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr., both sons of former NBA players.

Burke, Robinson and Hardaway weren’t at their best shooting against Florida Sunday as they combined for only 11-of-36 shots made. But Michigan freshman guard Nik Stauskas picked up the slack and scored a game-high 22 points.

No one scored more for Florida (29-8) as senior guard Kenny Boynton led them with just 13 points.

Meanwhile, No. 1 Louisville had its way with No. 2 Duke, beating the Blue Devils 85-63.

Duke (30-6) kept the score close throughout the first half, but senior guard Seth Curry struggled shooting and Louisville was able to run away with the lead in the second half.

Louisville (33-5) junior guard Russ Smith scored a game-high 23 points, while senior guard Peyton Siva followed with 16.

Curry scored just 12 points on 3-for-9 shooting, a dismal performance in comparison to his 29-point performance scored in the Sweet 16 round.

The game was marred by a grotesque injury near the end of the first half as sophomore guard Kevin Ware suffered a compound fracture of his right leg while trying to contest a three-point basket attempt. The leg buckled as he landed, resulting in two breaks and bone protruding through the skin Louisville coach Rick Pitino and other players wept openly at the sight of the severely injured comrade. 

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Elite-8: Michigan Returns to Final Four after 20 Years, Louisville Stomps Duke

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