Thursday night was exactly what we had been waiting to see from Michigan in the NCAA Tournament, as the Wolverines defeated Texas A&M in big fashion in their 99-72 win.
After struggling in their first two wins of the tournament, the Wolverines punished the Aggies as they made 14 3-pointers in the victory, including 10 in the first half. Michigan has won 12 straight games since Feb. 6 and finally resembles the team that won the Big Ten Tournament in New York City in early March.
However, while most will look at this game and credit Michigan for dominating the Aggies, ESPN’s Dan Dakich saw it differently.
Dakich and Sean Farnham joined SportsCenter to discuss Michigan’s blowout win on Thursday night. After Farnham pointed out that Michigan assisted on 55 percent of its field goals and that coach John Beilein was exploiting mismatches on the floor, Dakich responded by saying that Texas A&M didn’t make the necessary effort.
“Yeah, I think that’s a lot deeper than it really was,” Dakich said. “I don’t think Texas A&M tried. I mean, I looked at Texas A&M and I saw a team not getting back on defense, not sprinting back, not getting organized on offense.”
Dakich went on to give the Wolverines their props for the win, pointing out how good their defense has been, specifically pointing out Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Xavier Simpson.
“Look, John Beilein is going to run offense, and to your point, that’s what he does,” Dakich said. “He finds a mismatch and goes and whoops it. But this team is so good defensively, and [Abdur-Rahkman] … I love the kid; he is so under appreciated. And he plays both ends, and he gets in the stands, and Xavier Simpson gets in the stands.
“And this dominates the opponent because most people going into play Michigan do what you just said. We think about their offense, we want to talk about their offense, their offense is … but I’ll tell you what, they frustrate you. I saw it all year, they frustrate people because Abdur-Rahkman and Simpson keep people in front of them and they do it all game, and you don’t even think about it going into the game. It’s amazing, it really is. They’re playing great defense.”
Here is the full video:
Michigan will play its next game Saturday against Florida State in the Elite Eight (8:49 p.m. ET, TBS).