No denying Michigan on path to the Final Four

No denying Michigan on path to the Final Four
From ESPN - March 22, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- Even after it was clear to the rest of the country Michigan was on its way to a lopsided Sweet 16 win against Texas A&M, coach John Beilein was not about to get comfortable.

"Texas A&M was the one that came back on Northern Iowa, was it not?" he asked. "That was like a 10-point game with one minute to go, and they came back and tied it. Am I correct there?"

Northern Iowa actually led by 12 points with 44 seconds to go in that second-round game two years ago, but ... close enough.

Beilein has been around long enough to understand it's silly to assume anything is over, so despite building a 24-point halftime lead and maintaining at least an 18-point spread the entire second half, he never eased up.

"I kept looking, are we winning every four minutes, we were not, but we were not losing them either," he said. "So you can just have games where everything's just happening your way. You just try to get through the game, and that's survive. You look at that lead, and it could go south. We just did just enough to win."

Just enough, in this case, was a 99-72 win that was as impressive an offensive display as any team has showcased in the NCAA tournament this year. Just days after escaping the tournament's opening weekend with a buzzer-beater against Houston, the Wolverines have taken on the form of a team that -- as it did following its Big Ten tournament title -- appears capable of winning the entire thing.

"We knew that we could pick and choose our spots on offense, and we did not shoot too well in Wichita, but we knew that we were confident coming into the game that we could get our shots off," said guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who finished with a game-high 24 points. "We just picked and chose our shots, and we took them."

And made them. A lot of them.

The Wolverines shot 61.9 percent from the field and were 14-of-24 on 3-pointers. Eight players made at least one 3-pointer, which set a new single-game NCAA record.


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