The No. 3 Michigan Wolverines (30-7) will be heading to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year after beating the No. 6 Houston Cougars (27-8) 64-63 on Saturday night in Wichita, KS.
Mo Wagner and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led with 12 points. Zavier Simpson had four assists.
Michigan started off cold from beyond the arc, missing their first first six three-point shots of the game. Duncan Robinson would change that with back-to-back threes in his first minute of play.
Neither team was very good shooting in the first half. Along with Michigan’ field goal struggles, Houston only shot 31.3 from the field. Each team made four three pointers and the score was tied at 28 going into halftime.
In the second half, the maize and blue got into foul trouble early, committing eight before the under-12 timeout. Meanwhile, Houston’s Rob Gray, who had 39 points in Houston’s last game, began to heat up and lead the Cougars to a commanding lead. By the end of the gale, he had 23 points and 10 total rebounds.
After the teams went back and forth, Houston held a 63-61 lead with 25 seconds left and Michigan had a chance to tie the game and possibly get the lead back. The drive ended in a missed layup and the Cougars were fouled immediately to send them to the foul line. Devin Davis missed both, giving Michigan one last chance.
After a timeout, Isaiah Livers made an inbounds pass to Abdur-Rahkman up the middle who gave it to freshman Jordan Poole on the right side. Poole then wound up, released the ball and put it through the basket, sending the Wolverines to their second straight Sweet 16.
The Wolverines now head to Los Angeles for the next round, where they’ll face either No. 7 Texas A&M or No. 2 North Carolina at a date and time to be determined.