Michigan is going to the Final Four once again. The Wolverines took down Florida State 58-54 in the Elite 8 Saturday which also gave the team a team record 32 wins on the season.
The Wolverines once again won a game led by their defense as they held the Seminoles to 32.7 percent shooting from the field. Michigan's offense was by no means prolific, but on a night when they themselves shot 38.8 percent, that was more than enough to win with their defensive effort.
"We may not make shots, but we're still going to win the game with our defense," Michigan head coach John Beilein told TBS after the game. "We've just got to hang in there, don't give them second shots, try to takeaway the 3 ball, and drive. We did a great job on defense."
Michigan will now face off with Cinderella story Loyola-Chicago in the Final Four next week.
1. Run them off the line
When Michigan gets a good look at a 3-pointer they can be incredibly tough to stop as was shown in their 14-of-24 performance from beyond the arc against Texas A&M in the Sweet 16. However, Florida State made a point not to give the Wolverines a good look all night and it showed in their shooting percentage.
Michigan went 4 of 22 from long range Saturday and that almost singlehandedly kept the Seminoles in the game. Give Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton credit, he knew what Michigan could do well coming into the game and he made sure they didn't get to do it.
2. Winning ugly
Call this game what it was: ugly. Neither team shot well, both turned it over too much, there were a lot of fouls and there was never really any decent flow in the game. Michigan is moving on to the Final Four despite not playing their best and they deserve credit for that.
That doesn't mean this game was very watchable, though.
3. An intriguing Final Four matchup
With Michigan earning a bid to the Final Four, there is some definite intrigue with their next matchup. Sure, they won the Big Ten, have won a school record number of games and have earned their spot in the national semifinals, but they are by no means a mismatch for Loyola-Chicago.
The Wolverines are a good team, there is no doubt, but they have Moe Wagner in the middle who can run hot and cold and will struggle defensively against Cameron Krutwig, and beyond that they very much run a four-out system like the Ramblers do. Florida State had a lot more mismatches for Loyola-Chicago.
The Ramblers will never tell you they would have preferred to face Michigan, but it may be a more favorable opponent for them.