Michigan crushes VCU to advance
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Michigan made Havoc look helpless.
Mitch McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and the fourth-seeded Wolverines breezed through Virginia Commonwealth’s vaunted pressure with a clinical performance Saturday, beating the fifth-seeded Rams 78-53 to advance to the NCAA round of 16 for the first time since 1994.
VCU (27-9) was relentless in a 46-point rout of Akron on Thursday night, but the Rams met their match against Michigan’s cool-headed backcourt. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. rarely looked rattled against VCU, and although Michigan (28-7) committed 12 turnovers, the Rams couldn’t turn many of them into quick scoring opportunities.
McGary, a 6-foot-10 freshman, set season highs in scoring and rebounding. VCU had no answer for him around the basket, and when the Rams couldn’t create easy baskets with their pressure defense — they call it “Havoc” — they were finished.
The 71-point swing by VCU — from a 46-point win to a 25-point loss — was the largest in NCAA tournament history, according to STATS. In 1968, Houston beat Texas Christian 103-68, then lost to UCLA 101-69 for a 67-point swing.
McGary made his first seven shots from the field. Burke scored 18 points, and Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III added 14 each.
Juvonte Reddic scored 16 points for VCU.
Michigan led 38-23 at halftime. Burke turned the ball over five times in the first 5:51 of the second half, but even then the Rams couldn’t rally.
A dunk and a layup by McGary had VCU calling timeout with the score 49-33 — and then Michigan found a bit of a groove from beyond the arc.
Spike Albrecht made a 3-pointer and found Robinson with a slick pass for a dunk in transition. A 3-pointer by Burke made it 57-35.
Hardaway made a 3-pointer to push the lead to 23 and added an acrobatic reverse dunk to make it 64-38.
The Rams entered the day forcing an average of 19.9 turnovers per game, the most in the nation. Michigan was only committing 9.2 per game, the fewest in the nation.
In a matchup of strength against strength, the Wolverines won easily. They started by letting Hardaway bring … [For more on Michigan crushes VCU to advance to the Sweet 16, click here.]