Michigan Basketball advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 78-53 win over VCU on Saturday. The Wolverines steamrolled past the Rams and their Havoc defense. I said it earlier in the season, when teams try to push the tempo against Michigan it’s a good thing for U-M and not so good for the opposition, this is something VCU learned at the Palace.
How they won
Straight from the jump, Michigan was taking the action right at VCU’s fabled defense. The Wolverines played great defense that sparked some exciting offense which led to a 15 point halftime lead.
The pace VCU plays at actually favored some of Michigan’s athletic players, guys like Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Glenn Robinson III. That trio combined to shoot 12-21 for 30 points in the first half.
To open the half Michigan turned the ball over 4 straight times and then showcased their tremendous ability in the open court as they cruised past the Rams with a balanced effort. The Wolverines simply wore out VCU with their explosiveness in the open court and their efficiency in the half court.
Michigan held VCU to just 3-16 from beyond the arc and turned them over 11 times. The Wolverines shot 51.7% from the field and had 4 players in double figures.
1. Mitch McGary was the difference early and he impacted the game in a variety of ways. McGary had two big, legal screens in the first half that resulted in a Ram crumbling to the floor each time. He also drew a charge and was deflecting passes, diving across the floor and scraping up loose balls. McGray scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
2. Trey Burke was great with 18 points and 6 assists. He handled the VCU defense well and was masterful on the fast break.
3. Tim Hardaway Jr hit some big shots early and was outstanding in the open court. He finished with 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists. Hardaway also did a lot of ball handling to help break the pressure applied by VCU’s defense.
News and notes
Michigan advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994.
Spike Albrecht provided a big lift for Michigan off the bench. He scored 3 points and had 2 assists.
Jordan Morgan did not play
VCU barely won the turnover battle 12-11
VCU started the game 1-11 from three point range and didn’t connect on their second triple until they game was well out of hand and there was less than 5 minutes to play.
Michigan moves on to the Sweet 16 and will play the winner of Kansas and North Carolina in Arlington, Texas.
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