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. They carved up the Rams in the open court and sliced them up in the half court. The Wolverines played great defense of their own, which sparked some exciting offense that led to a 15 point halftime lead. Michigan would stretch that lead out to 31 points in the second half as they chewed up VCU and reminded folks that they are one of the premier teams in the country.
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. U-M took a 4-2 lead with 19:25 to play and never trailed again. VCU never threatened in the second stanza as Michigan put on a clinic.
The Wolverines just had too much fire power for the Rams to contend with. They ransacked VCU’s Havoc defense with their superior talent and their tremendous offensive efficiency.
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. VCU did not have an answer for Mitch McGary. He shot 11-12 from the field in a dominating performance.
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, 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. This game was McGary’s fourth career start and he has seized control of the job with a real coming of age performance in the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
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.
Michigan’s win today is the 2nd largest margin of victory in a 4-5 game since the field expanded in 1985.
Michigan outscored VCU 27-4 in transition.
Trey Burke passed Darius Morris and now owns Michigan’s single season assists record with 236 and counting.
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 on Friday, in Arlington, Texas.
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