Saturday night's NCAA Tournament semifinal was billed as two of the best point guards in the country, Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke, going head-to-head, and for the most part both disappointed as the Michigan Wolverines survived to beat the Syracuse Orange 61-56.
Carter-Williams' final game of the season, and possibly his college career, was dreadful. The Wolverines did everything they could to keep Carter-Williams out of the paint, which severely limited his aggressiveness. The junior point guard finished with just two points, two assists and five turnovers on 1/6 shooting. Oh, and he fouled out, though two of those fouls were on some pretty questionable calls.
The question now is how much this performance will affect what had been an otherwise very good tournament for him. Carter-Williams was coming off a 12 point, six assist, eight rebound and five steal performance. Before that, he helped Syracuse down No.1 Indiana with 24 points and five rebounds. What's most likely is that Carter-Williams' individual workouts will go a longer way in determining his draft status than his mostly good March and not-so-good April.
Burke got the win, but his performance wasn't much more inspiring than Carter-Williams'. Burke had seven points on 1/8 shooting, but did have four assists to just one turnover. He also added three steals in contributing to Michigan bottling up Carter-Williams. His one field goal was a doozy though, sinking this three-pointer from Charleston.
Now we get Burke vs. Peyton Siva, which is sure to be a back and forth matchup. The Michigan-Louisville back-court matchup is sure to be as exciting a matchup as we've had during the tournament.
Another fun matchup that Louisville-Michigan will bring us is Gorgui Dieng facing Mitch McGary. McGary exploded onto the scene during the tournament, averaging 16 points and 11.6 rebounds in five games. During that time, he's also committed to returning to Michigan for his sophomore season and then just yesterday backed off those claims. While McGary has been on a roll during the tournament, in Dieng he'll face a guy big enough to contest his shots in the post and quick enough to keep him from wide-open drives to the rim. Dieng's range and ability to pass out of the high post will also pull McGary farther away from the basket then he's used to.
Monday's final tips-off from Atlanta at 9:23 pm ET.