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Michigan basketball butts Florida, 64-49: observations



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DES MOINES, Iowa – John Beilein came to Michigan in 2007 to receive the name of the school on Sunday's selection.

Barely 12 years later he achieved this goal – and almost everything else.

No. 2 Michigan picked up 19 points from Jordan Poole to claim a 64-49 on Saturday's 10th place at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines to secure the program's fifth Sweet 16 appearance in the past seven years, including three straight.

Zavier Simpson added nine points, nine assists and nine rebounds as the Wolverines outperformed the Gators (32-21) in the second half.

Michigan Poole of Michigan reacts after beating Florida in the second half. [Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press]

Michigan all-time champion Beilein has since risen to more Sweet 16 (five) than any other coaches in the history of the game.

Michigan (30-6) has scored 30 consecutive years and for the third time since 2013.

The Wolverines will be the winners of Texas Tech No. 3 and Buffalo No. 6 in West Regional Semifinals on Thursday in Anaheim (California).

Observations from Michigan-Florida:

Shut Down

Florida shot well above its average in the first half, scoring 6 points out of the 3-point range. The alligators are usually a 33 percent 3-point shooting team, but Michigan had some defensive rounds that led to open looks.

That changed at half-time and Michigan's defense stifled everything that would have offended Florida.

Leading scorer KeyVaughn Allen, who was largely overshadowed by Charles Matthews, scored his first goal in the second half. The Gators scored two of the first 10 3 attempts after the break.

As important everything was challenged within the 3-point arc. Florida finished with 34.5 percent for the game and was kept below 50 points.

The defense of Michigan was her calling card throughout the season. It's only natural that the Wolverines beat another Sweet 16 ticket by blocking everything.

[ Michigan does "whatever it takes" crashes Florida]

"Right now

The way in which these two teams play, with the defense at the center, was inevitably a lesser result, grinder of a game

But Michigan had enough offensiveness enough, even if it was not overly consistent.

Poole, who had to contend with the shot selection this season, had some great moments on Saturday with better overall decisions at the offensive end Still forced a few strokes when Beilein wanted it, but he brought the ball a little more to the edge and decided to attack Florida's defense instead of breaking away from it.

Against teams like Florida who routinely SSIG change from man to man and a 1-3-1 zone, it is not easy. But Michigan has played enough, especially on the edge.

The Wolverines spent most of the game in color, beating Florida 34-16 in color.

Spread

Michigan was the better team from start to finish. Florida kept this game close in the first half thanks to some unusual brands from the depths.

But Michigan just had more offenses.

The Wolverines received 19 points from Poole, nine points and seven rebounds from Matthews, eight points and ten rebounds from Jon Teske, 10 points and three boards from Isaiah Livers. The leading scorer Ignas Brazdeikis scored five points (2: 8 shooting).

• Boxing Score

Michigan was patient against Florida's zone. The shot selection was much better than at the beginning of the season against teams defending this way.

As a result, the Wolverines were in control most of the night. It felt like it was just a matter of time before the Florida 3s stopped falling and Michigan retreated.

Now the Wolverines are back in the sweet 16th

[ Michigan can get to Final Four. Here are 16 reasons why ]

Contact Nick Baumgardner freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @nickbaumgardner. Read more about the Michigan Wolverines and subscribe to our Wolverines newsletter.


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