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Michigan basketball 2021 Michigan Basketball headed to the Elite Eight after dominant .

Michigan basketball 2021 Michigan Basketball headed to the Elite Eight after dominant .
florida state basketball, Juwan Howard, michigan vs florida state

Michigan basketball 2021 Michigan Basketball headed to the Elite Eight after dominant .

Michigan basketball Michigan basketball Eight to Michigan Basketball the Elite headed after dominant …

Sun, 28 Mar 2021 15:00:00 -0700

Michigan Basketball marches to an Elite Eight birth on the heels of a convincing victory over the fourth-seeded Florida State Seminoles

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Albert Cesare/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Basketball got off to a hot start over Florida State in the first half behind Brandon Johns Jr.

and Chaundee Brown’s stellar effort.

It was clear early that head coach Juwan Howard had this Michigan Basketball team ready to rock in their fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance.  The Wolverines scored 32 first-half points, 16 of which came from a whopping ten forced turnovers.  The Wolverines played stout defense all evening long, finishing with 14 forced turnovers.

Florida State continued to press the Wolverines with their aggressive press, whether it was a full-court press or a half-court, but Michigan clearly prepared for the on-ball pressure and often had an outlet to gain the midcourt stripe and set-up their offense.

The Seminoles continued to switch on the pick and roll, often leaving Hunter Dickinson the ability to eat inside, and the freshman center had himself a night totaling 14 points and eight boards.

Stretch wing Franz Wagner proved to be a ‘do-it-all balanced contributor, greatly helping Johns and Dickinson on the boards earning himself a double-double pulling down ten total rebounds along with scoring 13 points.  Wagner also had a few nifty passes through traffic which led to a few easy scores.  He’d finish with five assists.

Entering the contest, we knew the Seminoles turned the ball over quite a bit but often made up for it by playing stellar defense.  Florida State turned the ball over 15 times in the round of 32 in their victory over Colorado.

Michigan Basketball got a tremendous effort from Brandon Johns, who finished with 14 points and six boards after pacing the Wolverines with eight points, five rebounds, and two steals in the first half.

Brown continued his exceptional play coming off of Michigan’s bench, going 3 for 3 from the field and 1 for 1 from beyond the arc, totaling seven points in the first half.  Brown finished the afternoon with 12 points for Michigan Basketball.

The Wolverines finished the night with a whopping 50 points in the paint to FSU’s 28.  The Wolverines also cleared the glass nicely, surprisingly out-boarding the Seminoles 34-28.

Michigan shot 49% from the field, which is a tremendous feat; understanding FSU held its previous four opponents to a combined 36%.  Michigan shot just 27% from beyond the arc, and that will need to improve in the Elite Eight to secure a trip to the Final Four.

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The Wolverines will square off in the Elite Eight with the winner of UCLA and Alabama.

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Michigan basketball Michigan basketball

Sun, 28 Mar 2021 15:00:00 -0700

Michigan basketball spent the week studying Florida State, then applied it all nearly perfectly to advance to the Elite Eight with a 76-58 victory

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Michigan basketball heard the talk about Florida State.

About how the Seminoles were long — they are the tallest team in the nation based on average height, according to KenPom.com — and athletic. 

The Wolverines listened to it all.

Then they put down their heads and went back to work. 

“Yeah, we heard it all week,” said coach Juwan Howard.

“Yeah, sure did.

We did a really good job of preparing for it.”

SHAWN WINDSOR:Michigan heard all the NCAA tournament doubters.

They just don’t care

Florida State’s length wasn’t the only thing Michigan did a good job of preparing for. 

U-M advanced to the Elite Eight in the East region on Sunday night with a convincing 76-58 win over the Seminoles at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Wolverines took the lead with 15:13 remaining in the first half, extended that advantage to 11 by halftime and led by as many as 23 points in the second half — the largest deficit of the season for Florida State. 

The Seminoles made a quick 6-0 run in the second half to cut Michigan’s lead to five points.

They grabbed nine offensive rebounds and players like Scottie Barnes showed off their athleticism. 

Yet the Wolverines knew what to expect.

THE GAME:Michigan dismantles Florida State, 76-58, to advance to the Elite Eight

SHAWN WINDSOR:Michigan’s not a basketball school yet — but NCAA tournament runs are showing the way

“I think everyone knows, I think they’re the tallest team in the country, so we know they press a lot,” said Franz Wagner.

“So that’s one thing we kind of went over in practice a lot.

And like I mentioned earlier, the switching and how we can attack those close-outs.

Yeah, look at some weaknesses that they have on film.

I think, like we always do, we analyze what the other team does and try to look how we can exploit it.

“I mean, the scout team did a great job again.

I think the coaches had a good game plan.

I think everybody who played watch film, like they always do.

We also talked about what to do when they read the post, when they front the post, and stuff like that.

That’s something they’ve seen all season with Hunter (Dickinson) being so good down there.

So those are probably the main things we talked about.”

Michigan got off to a slow start on offense against Florida State, which switched almost every screen.

But the Wolverines never strayed from the plan.

They broke the press with ease and, in their half-court offense, attacked switches with the guards and back cuts. 

Four different players scored in double digits, led by Hunter Dickinson and Brandon Johns Jr., who had 14 apiece and combined for four assists and seven of Michigan’s 11 offensive rebounds.

Wagner scored 13 and dished five assists.

Chaundee Brown Jr.

added 12 off the bench, making five of six shots. 

[ Why Miami Heat coaches relish Juwan Howard’s success: ‘We’re all Michigan alums now’ ]

It was a balanced performance from an offense that still has firepower even without senior forward Isaiah Livers.

Despite making three of 11 3-pointers, Michigan still scored 1.15 points per possession.

The Wolverines scored on drives, in the post and off cuts to the rim, totaling 50 points in the paint against a team that was averaging 5.1 blocks (No.

11 overall) and had the nation’s 12th-best 2-point defense.

“I mean, I like to give the coaching staff some credit,” Wagner said. “I think we made some good plays that really put us in good positions out there.

I mean, like I said, we basically knew how they were going to play us all game with fronting the post and switching everything.

So we kind of knew what to expect and did that in practice.

“Then I think we did a really good job, like I said, of not allowing them to speed us up and dribble against the switch itself.

That’s how we got moving and got them to move and to adjust to us.

And we attacked our close-outs.

That’s when they pressure so much and can attack the paint.

That’s how I got my assist today, and that’s when good things happen for us.”

Defensively, Michigan played its game.

The Wolverines have fielded a top-10 defense, according to KenPom.com, for much of the season because of their ability to defend 1-on-1 and force opposing teams into inefficient shots.

Michigan over-helped in some instances and gave up several open 3s in the second half — but for the most part, the Wolverines held their own on defense.

U-M funneled Florida State’s guards and play-makers into difficult shots, contested vertically at the rim and rarely fouled, as the Seminoles attempted just six total free throws. 

“Defense has been one of our staples of our identity,” Howard said.

“We have habits on how we developed it last year when I first arrived, and when we returned to the campus in June, first thing that we met as a staff, and then also the first meeting when we were able to have our first official practice, we talked about how we’re going to be a better defensive team.

“A lot of drills that we worked on (were) based on developing that defensive prowess, where we can, of course, be disruptive on the ball and then off the ball.

So if you look at the field goal percentage, yes, we held them to 40 percent from the field.

It was a great defensive effort.”

After the game, Howard told reporters that he had been “hoping and praying” that Michigan’s preparation over the past week translated to Sunday night’s game. 

It did. 

The reward: The opportunity to prepare for another game on Tuesday night — and a chance to make the Final Four. 

Contact Orion Sang at osang@freepress.com.

Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang.

Read more on the Michigan Wolverines and sign up for our Wolverines newsletter. 

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– March 29, 2021
florida state basketball, Juwan Howard, michigan vs florida state

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