Michigan crushes Florida to reach Atlanta

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Shortly after he descended from the ladder -- a freshly snipped piece of the Cowboys Stadium net affixed to his commemorative Final Four cap -- point guard Trey Burke snaked through a gaggle of Michigan teammates and fans until he found John Beilein.

As the player and coach embraced during the crowning moment of their respective careers, Burke whispered into Beilein's ear.

Perhaps he said, "I told you so."

Long before Burke earned his tag as the best player in college basketball, the sophomore who can seemingly do no wrong was summoned into Beilein's office. It was summertime in Ann Arbor, just a few weeks before the start of classes, and Beilein was irked by some comments he'd read from Burke in a preseason publication.

"He got on me a little bit," Burke said, "because I said I felt like we could be national championship contenders. But it was coming from my heart. It was coming from watching this team every single day and seeing the talent. I knew that once we mixed talent with the toughness and execution and intelligent play, we could be something special.

"I knew we'd have a chance to win a title."

Burke's comments seemed far-fetched at the time. They don't anymore.

To read the rest of Jason King's piece, click here.