The East Region No.6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22-11) came back to beat the No.11 Michigan Wolverines (23-13) 70-63 in the Round of 64.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led the Wolverines with 15 points while V.J. Beachem led the Fighting Irish with 18 points.
The game as a whole was just another great spectacle of the madness that Friday’s tournament action brought.
The Wolverines dominated in the first half. They shot 50% on three-pointers, got 7 steals on defense, forced 10 turnovers, and were able to take advantage of Notre Dame’s mediocre three-point shooting. Going into halftime, they led the Fighting Irish 41-29 with momentum on their side.
However, things changed dramatically when Notre Dame when from playing a zone defense to a man-to-man defense. As a result, they owned the second half. They were able to mess up Michigan’s game plan on offense and got a lot better from three thanks, in large part, to the 4 out of 4 three-point tries made by V.J. Beachem.
The Wolverines had life going into the final minute and down by three. With the shot clock winding down, Zak Irvin tried a shot from beyond the arc, but he just wasn’t able to put it through. From there on out, Notre Dame was able to keep its lead for the rest of the game.
With this loss, the Michigan Wolverines’ 2015-16 season comes to an end. Through the highest highs to the lowest lows, they were able to bounce back from a mediocre 16-16 year and return to the NCAA Tournament after a year’s hiatus.
Although the expectations may have been higher going into the season, there’s still a lot to be proud of and I personally believe that this season is a sign of greater things to come for the maize and blue.