Michigan blew the doors off of Florida in the South Regional Final at Cowboys Stadium Sunday, as the Wolverines advanced to the Final Four with a 79-59 win over a team some felt was the best in the country.
Game 1 in Arlington featured Michigan's preposterous comeback from being down 10 points with two and a half minutes left against Kansas, the first overtime game of the tourney. Game 2 featured Florida Gulf Coast, the tournament's biggest Cinderella story. The last game was supposed to be a thriller between the winners of those two games, an offensive juggernaut in Michigan and an airtight defense in Florida.
That wasn't the case. Michigan scored the first 13 points of the game, eight coming from Mitch McGary. And the Gators made the mistake of letting sharpshooter Nik Stauskas find space, and he made them pay, finishing with five threes on five attempts in the first half. (He'd hit another in the second half to finish with 22 points on just eight shots.) It only took a little over 15 minutes for Michigan to build up a 20-point lead, and the game wouldn't be competitive after that: Florida would never cut the lead back under 10 points.
Besides Stauskas, Michigan didn't bring anything particularly special -- Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. combined to score just 24 points on 29 shots -- but Burke had eight boards and seven assists. Florida's offense was just alright, nothing capable of keeping pace with a team that was blistering hot from all over the floor.
The Wolverines will face Syracuse in the Final Four on Saturday. It's their first trip to the national semifinals since 1993, the last stand of the Fab Five.
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