Mitch McGary filled the stat sheet to lead the Wolverines with 10 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, as Michigan beat Syracuse, 61-56, in the National Semifinals in Atlanta.
Michigan led for most of the game, and even handed Syracuse its largest halftime deficit of the season, going into the break with a 36-25 lead. But C.J. Fair would not let the Orange go quietly.
First, he scored nine of the Orange's 14 points. Then with Michigan threatening to pull away later in the game, he scored a quick six points as part of a 10-3 run to bring Syracuse to within 48-45 with under eight minutes to play. Fair finished with a game-high 22 points.
And on a night where Michigan's Player of the Year candidate Trey Burke was nearly invisible, Fair's performance was almost enough to bring Syracuse to victory. Burke finished with just seven points, but Glenn Robinson (10 points) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (13 points) helped pick up the slack.
The balanced Michigan attack kept the Wolverines ahead down the stretch, even as Syracuse continued to cut into the lead. A three from James Southerland following three straight missed free throws from McGary made it a one-point game with 42 seconds left. Burke then made one out of two free throws and Syracuse had the ball with the shot clock turned off, but Brandon Triche committed an offensive foul to turn the ball over.
Even with Michigan missing five free throws in the last minute, the Orange could not make the big play. A breakaway dunk from Jordan Morgan with two seconds left clinched it for the Wolverines.
Michigan will play Louisville Monday night for the National Championship. The title game will air on CBS and will tip shortly after 9:20 p.m. ET.