Michigan’s Sweet 16 start was just stupid.
Texas A&M entered the Sweet 16 after a second-round domination of North Carolina. Michigan turned around and did something just as bad to the Aggies. This game seemed like it would be close. At the end of the first half, Michigan led 52-28.
Here’s a brief explanation of how that unfolded:
Moe Wagner was Michigan’s catalyst, because of course he was
Wagner dribbled behind his back for a layup. He got in the face of an A&M player after making a bucket. He was the best version of himself, and didn’t get into foul trouble.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 22, 2018
Wagner had 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field, and did not commit any fouls.
Wagner wasn’t alone, of course. Michigan’s whole team was on fire from the field
Just look at this box score:
That’s 57 percent vs. 38 percent shooting.
Michigan was lights-out from three. Texas A&M … was not.
Michigan came into this game with the 117th-best 3-point shooting percentage in the country. Some of the Wolverines’ games lately could certainly qualify as “defensive slogs.” So naturally, they came out and went 10 of 16 on threes.
Seven different Michigan players have connected on three-pointers in the first half against Texas A&M, which ties the single-game record for any team in the NCAA tournament according to ESPN Stats and Information. Louisville set the record in the Round… https://t.co/FvrkM32xIq
— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) March 23, 2018
Texas A&M attempted 8 threes and made two of them. That’s not awful, but it’s not going to help when the other team shoots the way Michigan just did.
Michigan forced turnovers and got points. Texas A&M did neither.
Michigan forced 10 turnovers and only gave the ball away once. The Wolverines scored 15 points off those turnovers, while A&M did not convert that one turnover into points.
Michigan shared the ball
The Wolverines had 14 assists to Texas A&M’s 3. That large margin is largely due to the fact that Michigan made shots and A&M didn’t, but it also speaks to some selfless basketball on the part of the Wolverines.