Florida vs. Michigan in NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 on Saturday

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Florida forward Keyontae Johnson drives past Nevada forward Tre'Shawn Thurman, left, during a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

After Thursday’s 70-61 win over Nevada in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Florida Gators will face Michigan at 5:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS, in the second round. Both teams are in the Round of 32 for the third consecutive year.

The Wolverines (29-6) put their disappointing loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament title game in their rearview mirror with an easy win over the Montana Grizzlies on Thursday night. Now it’s on to what figures to be a challenging game against a defensive-oriented No. 10 seed in Florida (20-15). The Wolverines beat the Gators in the Elite Eight on their way to the 2013 national championship game.

Michigan

Ann Arbor, 29-6.

Nickname: Wolverines. Coach: John Beilein.

Conference: Big Ten. Bid: At Large.

Region: West. Seed: No. 2.

Tournament History: 60-27, 8 Final Fours and 1 National Championship in 28 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Villanova in the National Championship.

Season Stats Entering Tourney

Scoring: 70.7 points per game, 45.1 fg pct, 35.1 3-pt pct, 69.5 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Ignas Brazdeikas 14.9; Jordan Poole 12.8; Charles Matthews 12.3.

Rebounds: Jon Teske 6.8; Brazdeikas 5.2; Avg team margin (plus-0.5).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.56): Zavier Simpson (6.5/1.9), 214 assists.

Best Win: 84-67 at home to North Carolina on Nov. 28.

Worst Loss: 69-75 at Penn State on Feb. 12.

The Skinny: Minus their three defeats against Michigan State since Feb. 24., the Wolverines enter thetournament having won 11 out of their last 13 games. Last year’s NCAA runner-up will begin this year’s tournament a seed higher and facing the same opening-round opponent when it takes on Montana. If the top seeds hold serve, Michigan could square off against No. 1-seed Gonzaga in an Elite Eight matchup in the West Region. The good news for the Wolverines is the Spartans are in the East.

First round Thursday:

Michigan coach John Beilein didn’t need to worry after all.

Four days after his Wolverines’ disappointing loss in the Big Ten Tournament championship game, they did exactly what they were supposed to against 15th-seeded Montana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

They got off to a fast start, led by double digits quickly and went on to a 74-55 win Thursday night.

“Monday we were down. Tuesday’s practice was just OK,” Beilein said. “I thought when we got here, we had a really good practice yesterday. We got another chance. Sometimes teams lose a championship game and don’t get a chance to play again. Our kids are smart. They knew what to do and we bounced back.”

Charles Matthews had 22 points and 10 rebounds in his best performance since coming back from injury. Ignas Brazdeikis added 14 points and seven rebounds, and Jon Teske had 11 points and nine boards for the Wolverines, who led by as many as 27 points in the second half.

“I love the way we came out,” Beilein said. “We had a little blip to start the second half and then we came back from that, too.”

WEST REGIONAL
First Round
Thursday, March 21
At The XL Center
Hartford, Conn.

Florida State 76, Vermont 69

Murray State 83, Marquette 64

At Wells Fargo Arena
Des Moines, Iowa

Florida 70, Nevada 61

Michigan 74, Montana 55

At Vivint Smart Home Arena
Salt Lake City

Gonzaga 87, Fairleigh Dickinson 49

Baylor 78, Syracuse 69

Friday, March 22
At BOK Center
Tulsa, Okla.

Texas Tech (26-6) vs. Northern Kentucky (26-8), 1:30 p.m.

Buffalo (31-3) vs. Arizona State (23-10), 4 p.m.

Second Round
Saturday, March 23
At The XL Center
Hartford, Conn.

Florida State (28-7) vs. Murray State (28-4)

At Wells Fargo Arena
Des Moines, Iowa

Michigan (29-6) vs. Florida (20-15), 5;15 p.m., CBS

At Vivint Smart Home Arena
Salt Lake City

Gonzaga (31-3) vs. Baylor (20-13)

Sunday, March 24
At BOK Center
Tulsa, Okla.

Texas Tech-Northern Kentucky winner vs. Buffalo-Arizona State winner

At Honda Center
Anaheim, Calif.
Regional Semifinals
Thursday, March 28

Gonzaga-Baylor winner vs. Florida State-Murray State winner

Michigan-Florida winner vs. Texas Tech-Northern Kentucky_Buffalo-Arizona State winner

Regional Championship
Saturday, March 30

Semifinal winners

FINAL FOUR
At U.S. Bank Stadium
Minneapolis
National Semifinals
Saturday, April 6

East champion vs. West champion

South champion vs. Midwest champion

National Championship
Monday, April 8

Semifinal winners

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. We again face a higher rated michigan team in a national spotlight, this time in basketball. The Networks are going to love the ratings, and it would be great to disappoint michigan twice in less than 3 months! they have disappointed us a few times, so who knows!