Texas A&M, MI peaking at the right time

Monday, 26 Mar, 2018

Find out in my preview of this Elite Eight battle.

A trip to the Final Four will be on the line Saturday night in Los Angeles as third seed MI plays ninth seed Florida State in the West Regional Finals. Offensively, Florida State has been led by Terance Mann (12.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.6 apg), Phil Cofer (12.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg), Braian Angola (12.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.4 spg), and Trent Forrest (7.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.6 spg).

The Wolverines got better as Big 10 play tested them, winning every game for the final month and a half on the way to the conference championship.

If anybody is able to knock down the Wolverines in this tournament, they'll have to end a long winning streak to do it. Michigan's reeled off 12 straight wins since the Northwestern game and ripped through the Big Ten Tournament, winning four times in four days.

27 - Final margin of defeat for Texas A&M, the largest in any NCAA Tournament game in school history. But they're just a good team. We believe in that philosophy. Our baseball team has probably had as much success at Florida State as anyone, but nobody would call us a baseball school. This is a bunch of guys that are connected.

The Seminoles are 14th in the nation with 5.3 blocks per game and have plenty of inside height, including 7-foot-4 center Christ Koumadje, 7-foot center Ike Obiagu and five players who are at least 6-foot-7. The Seminoles have faced a tougher path to get to the regional final, including wins over top-seeded Xavier and fourth-seeded Gonzaga.

Poole hit the Wolverines' first 3-pointer two minutes into the game.

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During the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, A&M sophomore forward Robert Williams put the finishing touch on victories with an emphatic dunk. "We're always the underdog. You'd better want to go get it and stick your nose into the fight". Michigan, meanwhile, ranks No. 24 nationally in opposing offensive rebound percentage.

Tyler Davis scored a game-high 24 points for the Aggies, making 11 of 17 from the field.

"I just think that's a cliche and that's a phrase that we need to eliminate".

After reaching the NCAA Tournament's round of 16 with an improbable buzzer-beater, MI shot 62 percent from the floor and routed Texas A&M 99-72 in a West Region semifinal Thursday night to reach the Elite Eight for the third time in six years. Vegas has a tendency to set the total low when the Seminoles are involved, as 56.3 percent of their games have gone over the projected point total. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 24 points while Moe Wagner added 21, Charles Mathews also tossed in 18 points as the trio led MI to the monster win. Graves has been the head coach of the last two double-digit seeds to reach a regional final — Gonzaga in 2011 as a No. 11 seed and OR previous year as a No. 10 seed. They have not lost since falling to Northwestern 61-52 on February 6.

Speaking of Abdur-Rahkman, Hamilton said he is the glue for the Wolverines (31-7). We go to a lot of home games, so I think the A&M program is on the way up. "We've been playing within ourselves all year". Everyone knows they can play defense but if they're going to shoot the way they did against Texas A&M, this team could win it all. They will take on the 3rd seeded Michigan Wolverines.

"Their defense is terrific", Beilein said. MI coach John Beilein said of the Seminoles. "There's a couple of things - they prioritize it, and they have great length to do it". "It's a challenge. We pride ourselves on not turning it over".