Syracuse went 5-7 in its final 12 regular-season games. Michgan went 6-6 in its 12 games leading into Selection Sunday. Yet the Orange and Wolverines -- a pair of No. 4 seeds in this 2013 NCAA tournament -- have both advanced to the Final Four in Atlanta. That proves again that, in this sport, getting hot in late March is way more important than being great in January, February or even early March.
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Let's remember that next time we bury a team on Valentine's Day.
Syracuse and Michigan serve as reminders that there's always time to turn things around provided the talented pieces are in place, and Jim Boeheim and John Beilein have quite clearly always had the talented pieces in place, particularly at point guard.
And is this point-guard matchup great, or what?
One (Carter-Williams) is a tall passer who gets easy looks for teammates. The other (Burke) is a big shot-maker who can create, score and basically do it all. Both will be lottery picks in June's NBA Draft, assuming they make themselves eligible for early entry. Either way, they'll first face each other inside the Georgia Dome in an intriguing matchup that'll feature Syracuse's historically great (at least in this event) zone defense trying to slow Michigan's top-ranked (in terms of efficiency) offense.