ANN ARBOR, Mich. — When Trey Burke was in high school, he once asked his coach to take one of his friends, a teammate, out of the game; the friend wasn't playing hard enough for Burke. Earlier this season, Burke showed up to a team media availability annoyed that he'd just lost to freshman Caris LeVert one-on-one. He left the room to take care of unfinished business. He beat LeVert in round two.
Tim Hardaway Jr. grew up a self-proclaimed perfectionist, wanting to be the best at everything he did and getting frustrated when he wasn't, whether it was jumping the highest into swimming pool or riding his bike the fastest. His dad, a five-time NBA All-Star, said he never let him win when they played, making the sting of losing last longer.
But their similarly intense competitiveness is by far their most common trait. In reality, Michigan's success in men's basketball is the result of an unlikely combination of chemistry. Mix the two together, and you get a national championship contender — or least that's what the Wolverines are hoping for from Hardaway Jr. and Burke, the best backcourt in the nation.