Michigan Basketball advanced to the Final Four with a 79-59 win over the Florida Gators on Easter Sunday. The Wolverines did the Gators in with a balanced and efficient offensive attack.
How the game was won
Michigan played a near flawless first half fueled by 19 points from Nik Stauskas, who was 5-5 from three-point range. The Wolverines shot 51.4% from the field, 63.6% from beyond the arc and took a 47-30 lead into halftime. In short, they demoralized the Gators.
Florida opened the second half on a 6-0 run and that was the only time they seriously threatened. It was a short-lived threat, Nik Stauskas ensured that when he canned his sixth triple of the game, igniting a 9-2 U-M run. From that point on Michigan was able to keep the Gators at bay. There were a couple of moments when Florida was close to cutting the lead down to 10 points, but Michigan always had the answer.
With 1:48 left to play and Michigan leading 76-54, John Beilein emptied his bench and the Wolverines had clinched a trip to their first Final Four since 1993. Matt Vogrich put the icing on the cake when he drained a three-pointer to put Michigan up 79-54.
The way Michigan so thoroughly dominated the game, it was almost anti-climatic. however, there’s nothing anti-climatic about making it to the Final Four. “It feels really good,” Trey Burke told Craig Sager after the game.
1. Nik Stauskas was the key to Michigan’s first half by scorching the nets from beyond the arc. He ended up going 5-5 from deep in the opening stanza and with each made three, the Wolverines confidence grew. Stauskas also hit a key triple early in the second half to thwart a Florida rally and propel the Wolverines to an easy victory. He finished the game with 22 points and was 6-6 from three-point land.
2. Trey Burke finished the game with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and just one turnover. He was a steady hand against what is normally a good Florida defense.
3. Mitch McGary continued his incredible tournament run with 11 points, 9 boards and 5 steals.
News and Notes
Michigan notched 9 second half steals and 13 for the game.
Spike Albrecht provided a jolt off the bench for the Wolverines with 7 points and 4 steals.
Florida came into the game giving up just 53.7 points per game and holding the opposition to 37.9 field goal percentage and 30.3 from three-point range.
Michigan shot 46.2% from the field and 52.6% from beyond the arc.
Michigan finished the game 10-19 from beyond the arc.
Michigan won the turnover battle 15-9.
Michigan will play Syracuse in the Final Four on Saturday.
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