Site: Auburn Hills, Mich. (The Palace of Auburn Hills) Event: NCAA Tournament (Third Round) Score: #10 Michigan 78, Virginia Commonwealth 53 Records: U-M (28-7), VCU (27-9) Next U-M Event: Friday, March 29 -- vs. Kansas or North Carolina - NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 (Arlington, Texas), Time TBA
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Freshman forward Mitch McGary(Chesteron, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, helping the University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 10 AP/No. 11 Coaches) advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen for the first time since the 1993-1994 season with a 78-53 victory over fifth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday afternoon (Mar. 23) at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The fourth-seeded Wolverines shot 31-of-60 (52 percent) from the floor in the game, including 10-of-11 (91 percent) from the free throw line while holding the Rams to just 23-of-58 (40 percent) from the field and 3-of-16 (19 percent) from three-point range. U-M also held the advantage on the boards, outrebounding VCU, 41-24.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Also scoring in double figures for Michigan were sophomore guard Trey Burke(Columbus, Ohio/Northland HS) with 18 points and seven assists, junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr.(Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) with 14 points and freshman guard Glenn Robinson III(St. John, Ind./Lake Central) with 14 points and nine rebounds.
With 13:40 to play, a triple by freshman guard Spike Albrecht(Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon Prep [Mass.]) started a 15-3 run over three and a half minutes to help the Maize and Blue to a 26-point lead (64-38). Robinson finished at the rim with a slam, before Burke and Hardaway nailed consecutive three-pointers, and Hardaway capped the run with a reverse dunk of his own.
U-M then used an 8-0 run to extend its advantage to 31 with a little more than six minutes left in the game. VCU outscored Michigan 12-6 down the stretch to get to the final point difference.
The Wolverines led by as many as six points early in the first half, before the Rams went 3-for-3 from the floor to cut their deficit to 18-17 at the 10:40 mark. A jumper by Burke, however, started a 14-2 U-M run during which VCU was held scoreless for nearly five minutes. After a triple by Burke continued the run, Hardaway nailed a deep one of his own, and Robinson converted a fastbreak layup to put Michigan up 32-19 with 2:29 remaining in the half.
A layup finally ended VCU's field goal drought, but the Wolverines responded with six straight points to extend their advantage to 17 with 42 seconds on the clock. Burke scored four straight points before finding Robinson at the rim for an alley-oop. The Rams made the last basket of the half, and U-M entered the locker room with the 38-23 edge.
VCU scored the first three field goals out of the break to get within 11, before McGary went on his own 9-4 run. After converting an old-fashioned three-point play at the 16:14 mark, McGary threw one down and converted a layup on back-to-back possessions to give Michigan the 49-33 advantage.
The Wolverines will face the winner of the Kansas/North Carolina matchup on Friday (March 29). Tipoff and broadcast information is still to be announced. Tickets for the South Regional at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, are available through Ticketmaster.