NCAA Tournament 3rd Round - Michigan 79, Texas 65
MILWAUKEE (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - After waiting nearly two decades between Sweet 16 trips, Michigan is making it back-to-back.
With a little history along the way.
Michigan, the Midwest's No. 2 seed, opened the game with a full assault, setting the tone for a 79-65 win over No. 7 seed Texas.
The program's 13th Sweet 16 trip sends the Wolverines to Indianapolis for a Friday game against the winner of Sunday's Round of 32 game between No. 11 seed Tennessee and No. 14 seed Mercer.
Leaning on coach John Beilein's quick turnaround mastery for his 700th career win, Michigan pushed a lead to 18 points in the first half and spent the second half hoping to keep the clock running.
The Wolverines (27-8) needed most of those points as Texas made a push, getting within eight points with three minutes left. But Michigan answered with its 14th three-pointer (a program NCAA record) and a Jordan Morgan-drawn flagrant foul to create late comfort with just over 2 minutes remaining.
Morgan was impressive getting his second double-double of the tournament with 15 points and 10 rebounds while holding the massive Cameron Ridley to just six points and four fouls, and off the floor during Texas' furious finish.
Despite hitting just 4 of 12 shots form the field, Nik Stauskas' were all three-pointers, pushing him to a 17-point, eight-assist night.
Texas (24-11) made it interesting in the second half, cutting U-M's lead to eight, 58-50, with 8½ minutes remaining.
It started by getting aggressive and living up to its size advantage. The Longhorns hit the offensive boards, with 10 offensive rebounds in the first 10 minutes after the break, following only six the whole first half.
Michigan did its share of personal damage, opening the door with missed Caris LeVert free throws followed by an array of miscues from a missed Stauskas dunk to lost balls in the paint and succumbing to Texas' full court pressure.
Michigan answered Texas' rally — which cut U-M's lead to just six with less than eight minutes left — mostly by Glenn Robinson III's aggression.
The sophomore had a putback and then hit a three-pointer, with a blocked shot on defense, to push the margin back to 11, built in the stunning first half.
In typical Beilein fashion, the second game of a weekend started like it usually does, with the Wolverines honed in.
As with VCU, Florida and the first half against Louisville last season and in previous tourneys where the heavy underdog Wolverines pushed a high seed, they came out firing.
After 3 minutes of feeling it out down 6-3, they launched.
Michigan showed what the nation's third-most efficient offense looks like, tearing off a 27-6 run to grab the Longhorns and shake them.
Hitting 8 of 15 (53.3%) three-pointers before the break, the lead reached 18 at one point before settling at 43-30 at the half.
Contact Mark Snyder: firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder .