If you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you missed the fact that the Michigan Wolverines are the de-facto 2013 national champions.
Okay not really, even though we have the shirts to vouch for it.
What actually happened? Well, the NCAA ruled the Louisville Cardinals, who defeated Michigan in the ‘13 title game, must give up their national championship.
This came after the NCAA denied Louisville’s appeal of a 2017 decision that penalized the program for multiple violations, including strip teases and sex acts for recruits and players.
With the decision to take away the title, a lot has come about that ‘12-’13 Cardinal team, but what about that Michigan squad? The year the four-seed Wolverines consecutively marched over a one-seed, three-seed and four-seed to reach the title game for the first time since the spring of 1993. Ironically enough, that championship appearance had to be vacated after it was learned booster Ed Martin paid Chris Webber as much as $280,000.
That Louisville team has recently gotten a lot of light for all the wrong reasons. It’s only right we take a look back on John Beilein’s ‘12-’13 group
The first thought of that national championship game that comes to mind is the foul called on Burke against Louisville point guard Peyton Siva. Down 67-64 with a little over five minutes to play, Burke met Siva at the rim and absolutely stuffed him. Though it was (painfully) obvious he got all ball, it was called a foul. Despite Burke’s team-leading 24 point effort, the Cardinals would go on to win 82-76.
Burke declared for the draft after his sophomore season, after he averaged 16.9 points per game, 35.7 MPG and 72 starts in 73 games in two seasons donning the maize and blue. Recognized as the 2013 NCAA Player of the Year, Burke will go down as arguably the best point guard in Michigan history.
Of course, an appearance in the title game that year would have been impossible had Burke not nailed a 30-foot three in the face of a Kansas defender en route to an incredible 87-85 Sweet Sixteen overtime win.
He now plays for the New York Knicks alongside former Wolverine teammate Tim Hardaway Jr.
Although Burke was Michigan’s best player, Stauskas served as a pretty handy sidekick. The Ontario, Canada, native was an electric shooter beyond the arc, totaling 172 made threes in his two seasons.
Stauskas has had a rough-go finding his niche in the NBA after being drafted eighth overall to the Sacramento Kings in 2014, as he’s already been with three teams in four seasons. Regardless, he’ll always be considered a Michigan legend, especially considering the fact that he blew kisses to a hushed Breslin Center when the No. 21 ranked Wolverines defeated the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans in ‘14.
Glenn Robinson III
Similar to Burke and Stauskas, Robinson cemented himself as a Michigan great in just two seasons. As a freshman playing 38 minutes in a championship game, the six-foot-six forward quickly became someone Beilein could rely on.
Robinson averaged 12.0 PPG and 33.0 MPG, starting in every one of the 76 games he played in.
The 2017 NBA Slam Dunk Champion, Robinson has always been incredibly athletic. Like, for example, his acrobatic buzzer-beater against his father’s alma mater that lifted the Wolverines over the Purdue Boilermakers on this day four years ago.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway seemed to be a Michigan secret weapon during his three-year tenure in AA. He averaged 14.3 PPG and started all 107 games he played in, playing an integral role in putting Michigan hoops back on the map.
He was a perfect blend to go along with Burke and Stauskas, who drew the most attention from opponents.
Not only did he shoot 43 percent from the floor as a Wolverine, he was also a fantastic dunker.
Hardaway now plays with Burke in New York.
As a freshman the year of the title run, McGary quickly emerged as a prominent big man for Beilein off the bench. He averaged 7.5 PPG and 19.7 MPG as a rookie, really turning it on once tournament play began.
He totaled a career-best 21 points in the second round against VCU, then matching it the next game against Kansas.
McGary battled injuries the following season, opting for back surgery in December of 2013 and missing the rest of the season. Now faced with a decision of whether to stay at Michigan or declare for the NBA draft, the Chesterton, Indiana, native tested positive for marijuana after the Wolverines’ Sweet Sixteen victory over Tennessee.
With a year-long suspension on the line if he were to return, McGary declared for the draft and was selected 21st overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder that June.
Despite a rocky ending to his Michigan career and a short-lived stay in the NBA, McGary joined Burke, Stauskas, Robinson and Hardaway as a ‘13 title game starter that was now in the NBA.
With a roster rich of young talent, J-Mo was a rare upperclassmen regular for the ‘12-’13 Michigan squad. The year of the national title run being his senior year, the Detroit native made a career-high 37 appearances.
Morgan was a blue-collared man often coming off the bench that season for Beilein, tallying 6.4 PPG and 5.0 PPG.
He currently plays for Petrol Olimpija of the Slovenian League, where he averages a line of 14.1/7.1/1.2.
Michael Joseph Albrecht, more commonly known as “Spike”, burst onto the college basketball scene as a freshman in ‘12-’13 after coming off the bench for Beilein in all 39 games.
Though he averaged just 2.2 PPG that year, Albrecht became a Michigan icon after his impressive showing against Louisville, in which he set career-highs with 17 points in 28 minutes. Albrecht was 4-for-5 from three-point land that night and earned some high praise from basketball legend Dicky V.
“I can’t believe it. I cannot believe what I’m seeing. Bam, bam, bam. Somebody tell me, is this kid for real?” Vitale raved on the ESPN broadcast.
While that performance on the biggest stage was remarkable, Albrecht tweeted at model Kate Upton the following day was the icing on the cake.
Shooters shoot, I guess.
When looking back on this roster, it really is amazing to see the amount of talent that was on this team. Levert, now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, certainly fits that mold.
Before he was the Pacers 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Levert was a four-year backbone for coach Beilein. He totaled just 2.3 PPG his rookie year in ‘12-’13, but would go on to average 14.77 in his next three years.
Similar to the likes of Morgan, Horford was a respectable presence off the bench.
He averaged 8.8 minutes of playing time in ‘12-’13, only making 12 starts in 107 appearances.
Horford saw a spike in playing time the following season as a tri-captain, with McGary losing time to injury.
Bielfeldt wasn’t a regular by any means as Michigan marched to the title game. As a freshman, he appeared in just 5.3 MPG over 20 games. Two years later, he did flash some potential by scoring 5.1 PPG in 30 contests.
For his final year of eligibility in 2015-16, the six-foot-seven forward transferred to Indiana University, where he enjoyed more success in one season than in three seasons as a Wolverine.
While the magical run in the spring of ‘13 was before Bielfeldt had any significant impact at Michigan, it also marked the end of Akunne’s time in Ann Arbor.
Akunne averaged just 1.0 PPG and 3.3 MPG in his four seasons as a Wolverine. He scored a season-high five points in the opener against Slippery Rock.
As a fifth-year senior, Person never really scratched the surface as a Michigan Wolverine.
The Kalamazoo native appeared in only 35 games over his four-year stretch in Ann Arbor, scoring just 10 points in all of the ‘12-13 campaign.
As a senior, Vogrich turned in a career-worst 1.0 PPG, though he did make six starts in the 26 games he played in. He was mostly a piece off the bench in four years under Beilein, averaging a career-best 14.0 MPG mark his sophomore year.
He added three points of his own in Michigan’s 79-59 Elite Eight win over the Florida Gators.
The senior forward, in his third season in Ann Arbor, had little to no impact that season. He scored just 11 points in the 16 games he played in, making a quick two-minute cameo in the Elite Eight dub over the Gators.
Bartelstein, a senior the year the Wolverines were one win away from a ring, didn’t score at all that season. He played just 10 minutes in six appearances.
While the 2013 Louisville team are now back in the national light, it’s appropriate to do the same of that young and spunky Michigan squad.
Oh, and while you’re celebrating their run to the championship game, go buy a shirt.