Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 24 points and Moritz Wagner added 21 to help Michigan to a 99-72 win against Texas A&M in a Sweet 16 game Thursday in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Michigan discovered its touch from behind the perimeter, finishing 14 for 24 on 3-pointers, including 10 successful 3-pointers in the first half.
WHY MICHIGAN WON: Michigan took control of the game early, building a 16-6 lead in the first 7 minutes, powered by a strong start from Wagner, tenacious inside defense and decent rebounding. Michigan nullified Texas A&M’s inside presence and made the Aggies’ height a non-factor, and forced them to go to their outside shooters early. By the time Michigan built a 19-6 lead, Texas A&M was 3 for 11 from the floor, including 0 for 4 on 3-point attempts.
Michigan was on fire from behind the perimeter in the first half. The Wolverines went 10 for 16 in the first half on 3-pointers, en route to a 52-28 lead against Texas A&M.
Wagner scored 5 points early in the second half (he had 19 in the first 22 minutes), including a 3-pointer, to help the Wolverines to a lead of nearly 30 points. With about 7 minutes left in the game, Michigan had five players in double figures in scoring, including Wagner and Abdur-Rakhman (19 points).
WHAT IT MEANS: Michigan advances to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2014. Michigan extends its win streak to 12 games, a run that dates to Feb. 11.
WHO STARRED: Michigan’s perimeter shooters. All of them. The Wolverines finished 14 for 24 on 3-pointers, including a 10-for-16 effort in the first half. Abdur-Rahkman led the Wolverines with 4 3-pointers. Michigan’s defense also stood out in the first half, forcing Texas A&M to make 11 turnovers.
WHO STUMBLED: It’s hard to say if anyone failed to pull their weight for the Wolverines, especially in the first half. Michigan had 10 players score in the win. Michigan’s rebounding was the only area that faltered, particularly in the first half. The Aggies outrebounded the Wolverines 19-15 in the first 20 minutes, and Texas A&M outrebounded the Wolverines 33-28.
WHO IS NEXT: Michigan faces either Florida State or Gonzaga on Saturday in an Elite Eight game in Los Angeles.