Michigan's warmup shirts have "Rise To The Occasion" in large script written on the front. It's a messge coach John Beilein clearly wanted to get across to his players, and Trey Burke's explosion in the second half — that included a ridiculous 30-foot jimmy to tie the game and force overtime — was all the evidence he needed to know it sunk in.
This season has been clowned on all year for mediocre play, but that wasn't on display tonight. It was easily the best game of the tournament thus far, with both teams clicking and the NBA talent putting on a show.
Kansas dominated two-thirds of the game with solid all-around game on both ends of the court. Ben McLemore, who finished with 20 points on 8/15 shooting, finally looked like the potentional top-pick in the NBA draft. His breakaway dunk to make it 53-46 looked like the end of the game. Kansas stretched their lead to 14 points.
But they went on cruise control too early, and Trey Burke took advantage. Once he got hot, there wasn't anything Bill Self's timeouts could do to stop him. He lit Kansas up for 23 points on the night — with Mitch McGary knocking in 25 and grabging 14 boards — culminating in March Madness' first real Onions moment.
The momentum carried Michigan though overtime. Kansas was shell-shocked. They were a shell of the confident team that looked capable of blowing out their Sweet 16 opponent for most of the game. Bill Self sent six players out from the huddle. They may not figure out what happened until the morning.
Here's how it went down on Twitter.
Hard to tell crowd breakdown here, but more Kansas fans than Michigan fans. And I imagine a few Walmart Florida Gulf Coast fans.
— Bob Wojnowski (@bobwojnowski) March 29, 2013
Less than two minutes into Michigan-Kansas, & we already have a flagrant foul due to a nutshot deadsp.in/P2etwek
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 29, 2013
Your requested nutshot GIF (in high resolution!) 30fram.es/Xq5LrL
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 29, 2013
Dick punching is the only legal form of birth control in Kansas.
— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) March 29, 2013
Kansas is just tougher than Michigan, physically and mentally. That's what happens when u have 4 senior starters that have been thru battles
— Jason King (@JasonKingESPN) March 29, 2013
Reminder: Kansas has Jeff Withey.
— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) March 30, 2013
Ben McLemore is heating up as Kansas heads into halftime with a six-point lead over Michigan. This alley-oop is nice: sbn.to/10hr38C
— SB Nation (@sbnation) March 30, 2013
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 30, 2013
Self is not happy after that final play. How about Burke with 0 points, Kansas shooting 67.9% and Michigan down 6? Hail to victors for that.
— Eric Prisbell (@EricPrisbell) March 30, 2013
Kansas is shooting 68% so far. Going to be tough for Michigan to beat that. #MarchMadness
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) March 30, 2013
Damn. Michigan had it to 3, Robinson drove, had someone open for a layup to cut it 1, but Withey knocked it away … Kansas now up 7.
— Jason McIntyre (@TheBigLead) March 30, 2013
Great shot of former Knicks coach Larry Brown (remember him) cheering for Kansas. I guess Larry wanted to "smell the gym" tonight.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 30, 2013
Ben McLemore with 20 points already as Kansas leads Michigan 63-52 midway through the second half
— ESPN 980 (@ESPNRadio980) March 30, 2013
if Michigan wanna win this game they need to stop the second chance pts, pts in the paint, and give the ball to trey and Hardaway. #Fact
— J.Fields#3 (@So_Ambition2win) March 30, 2013
50 points in the paint through 30 minutes. That just says it all. Michigan is playing no defense
— Daniel Williams (@Dan_Williams44) March 30, 2013
— FOX 4 News (@fox4kc) March 30, 2013
Kansas turns their offense as well as any team in the country. They move the defense.
— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) March 30, 2013
CBS TO, 3:47: Kansas 70, U-M 59. Burke struggling like crazy; McGary playing like crazy. Missed FTs not helping comeback cause.
— Mick McCabe (@MickMcCabe1) March 30, 2013
Kansas calls timeout up 72-66 with 1:36 left. Huge possession for Jayhawks.
— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) March 30, 2013
Wow, you can see Kansas pg Elijah Johnson is shaky under pressure. Michigan cuts Kansas lead to 72-66.
— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) March 30, 2013
#MarchMadness Kansas can't stop Michigan from scoring
— reservoirgod (@MIA_Heat_Index) March 30, 2013
Kansas has blown more leads than Lindsay Lohan.
— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) March 30, 2013
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) March 30, 2013
VIDEO: Trey Burke's 30-footer erases a 14-point Kansas lead and forces OT deadsp.in/VpN0xyC
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 30, 2013
CORRECTION: KANSAS IS COLLAPSING LIKE THE DEAD-END CARTOON HATRED OF THE WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) March 30, 2013
Kansas might be in trouble. Unreal collapse. Michigan has all the momentum now
— Cuffs The Legend (@CuffsTheLegend) March 30, 2013
As a reminder to Kansas fans, overtime does not mean automatic free cheesecake bites.
— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) March 30, 2013
Kansas is mentally off balance.They weren't expecting to play any OT based upon how this game was going.
— Herbert Bailey (@PastorBailey) March 30, 2013
2013 Kansas doing its best 2008 Memphis impersonation. Total collapse.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) March 30, 2013
Does Tony Romo play for Kansas now cuz he's used to fumbling leads like this away.
— CNY Media Critic (@CNYmediaCritic) March 30, 2013
Wow. Kansas went out there with six players. Fans had to bring it to Self's attention.
— Pat Dooley (@pat_dooley) March 30, 2013
Burke you are a man!!! What a 2nd half for the Wolverines, my bracket might be done if Kansas loses but man what a comeback.
— David Pollack(@davidpollack47) March 30, 2013
Trey Burke PUT THE TEAM ON HIS BACK tonight. twitter.com/SportsNation/s…
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) March 30, 2013