Trey Burke came back to Michigan for 'unfinished business,' and now he gets a shot at finishing it
That journey, officially, begins now.
Six more wins and Michigan's sophomore point guard gets his wish. One more loss, and that dream is over.
"This is what I came back to school for," Burke said Sunday night. "Moments like this.
"Opportunities like this."
Burke's first taste of the NCAA tournament ended in bitterness, as he struggled to get any flow in a stunning second-round loss to Ohio last month.
After the game, Burke immediately began thinking about leaving college for a shot at the NBA. In fact, he almost left. His bags were packed, his mind was made up.
Eventually, he did come back. He came back to improve as a player, and he came back to compete for it all.
It was, really, that simple.
"I feel like we have unfinished business," Burke told reporters almost a year ago.
And now, Burke's quest at finishing that business officially begins.
He was already selected as the Big Ten Player of the Year, and he's a strong candidate to win all three of the major national player of the year honors as well.
As far as the future goes, Burke is seen by most analysts as a solid first round NBA draft pick next season. His time as a Wolverine, like it or not, could be winding down.
And, at moment, he has zero NCAA tournament wins to his credit.
So, what's Burke's plan for this week? He's going to stay in this moment, for as long as he can, and see what happens.
"It's just (about) staying in the moment, really, that's the most important part," Burke said. "I think we have to stay in the moment, myself as well.
"Try not to think about our matchup against VCU or Akron (in the third round), just try to think about South Dakota State. See what they're really good at, scout them as well as they can. That's all we can do."
Just as he did a year ago, Burke will begin the NCAA tournament opposite a lights out point guard. The Big Ten Player of the Year was out-played last March by Ohio's D.J. Cooper, and as a result, the Bobcats scored the victory.
On Thursday against SDSU, Burke will line up against fellow Wooden Award finalist Nate Wolters, a dynamic point guard who put up 53 points in a game this season.
He's got his work cut out for him again, and it certainly won't be easy.
But Burke's got unfinished business to take care of.
And now, it's finally time to go take care of it.
"Just go in the game and play, play hard," Burke said. "If we play with the intensity we played with when we (beat) Michigan State or Ohio State or Indiana, we're a really good team.
"But it's not just about playing hard. It's about playing hard and playing smart, and doing what we need to do."
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