Michigan put its foot on the accelerator in the first half of its third-round Midwest Regional game against Texas out of the Big 12, building a 13-point halftime lead and looking as if the Longhorns were left for dead.
The seven-seed Longhorns weren’t quite ready to pack it in, however, and kept playing in the second, cutting the Wolverine lead to eight with over six minutes to play. That was as close as the Horns would get, as Michigan, the No. 2 seed on the outscored Texas 21-15 from there and went on to win 79-65 and advance to the Sweet 16 round next weekend
The Wolverines will meet the winner of Sunday’s third-round game between 11-seed Tennessee and the 14th-seeded Mercer Bears in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis..
Michigan sophomore guard Nik Stauskas led a Wolverine field day from long range, hitting four of nine treys and ringing up 17 points to lead Michigan in scoring. Three other Wolverine starters scored in double figures. As a team, Michigan launched 28 three-points shots in the gane, and rang the bell on half of them.
Freshman Longhorn guard Isaiah Taylor scored 22, but he got little other help on offense from his Texas teammates. Another freshman, Martez Walker, added 14 points coming off the bench.
Texas had a 41 to 30 advantage in rebounds, with 21 of the 41 coming on the offensive glass, but the Longhorns couldn’t get anything going on the inside all afternoon, which took away what they like to do best.
Texas is the fourth Big 12 team to bow out of this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns end the season at 24-11 and with a third-place finish in the Big 12.