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Trey Burke
Trey Burke (USA) Michigan State (NCAA)
08/04/2013
USA - A 'surreal' season for Michigan's Burke

ATLANTA (NCAA) - The Michigan Wolverines will go into Monday night's NCAA Final against Louisville looking to win the title for just the second time.

In 1989, Glen Rice went on a scoring tear that is the stuff of legend to lead the Wolverines to their only championship.

Rice was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after pouring in an NCAA Tournament-record 184 points in six games for the Wolverines, a mark that still stands, with former Princeton star Bill Bradley´s 177 points in 1965 ranking second.

Rice also owns the record for made three-pointers in an NCAA Tournament with 27 in 1989.

While much of the attention on Michigan has focused on their first run to the Final since 1993, when the team had the Chris Webber-led 'Fab Five', this year's side may have more in common with the 1989 Wolverines.

If that team had Rice, this year's squad has the phenomenal Trey Burke.

A sophomore point guard, Burke was on Sunday named winner of the 2013 Naismith Trophy as the men's college basketball player of the year.

He is the first player at Michigan to capture the honor.

Even before Michigan's 61-56 victory over Syracuse at the Final Four on Saturday, Burke was named the winner of the Bob Cousy Award, which honors the top point guard in American college basketball.

Cousy is a legendary point guard of the Boston Celtics who won an NCAA title with Holy Cross in 1947.

Burke has always been a fan of college basketball and now he has become one of its main attractions.

"It's kind of surreal, growing up as a kid, watching March Madness - you always wanted to see yourself playing in the Final Four and playing for a national championship," he said.

"Now that we are here, we're one step away from accomplishing a goal that we set at the beginning of the year. I'm just excited for the opportunity."

Will this be Burke's last hurrah with Michigan?

Burke says he will weigh up his options after the season and decide with his parents and coach John Beilein if he'll return to Michigan or declare for the NBA Draft.

His focus right now is only on the Final.

"It feels great to just be playing on Monday night," he said.

"A lot of teams aren't playing on Monday night.

"Just to be able to have the opportunity to play here in Atlanta for the national championship, it's a dream come true. That's where my mindset is right now."

Louisville have captured the NCAA title twice, yet not for a very long time.

In 1980, Darrell Griffith was their Most Outstanding player when the Cardinals beat a Larry Brown-coached UCLA in the Final.

Then in 1986, Louisville denied Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski glory in his first bid to win the championship with Pervis Ellison leading the charge.

'Never Nervous Pervis' was just a freshman in that squad but was the Most Outstanding Player.

Both of those Louisville sides were led by coach Denny Crum while now, Rick Pitino is in charge.

Michigan coach John Beilein expects a very hard game.

"He's (Pitino) a brilliant coach with great schemes," he said.

"It's going to be difficult."

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