The Michigan Wolverines, the top seed in the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament East Region, are off to the Elite Eight. Coach Juwan Howard and the Wolverines got there with a 76-58 win over the fourth-seeded Florida State Seminoles in the Elite Eight Sunday, and they did so without Isaiah Livers, their second-leading scorer this season. Livers (a senior who averaged 13.1 points and 6 rebounds this season) hadn’t played since reaggravating a foot injury against Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, and he was officially ruled out for the rest of the season Sunday (as per comments from Howard to CBS’ Tracy Wolfson). But Michigan did just fine without him, forcing 14 turnovers (10 before the half, where they led 32-21), making 49.2 percent of their field goals to Florida State’s 40.0 percent, and outrebounding the Seminoles 41-34 (15-11 on the offensive glass). Here’s one impressive second-half play from the Wolverines, a bounce pass from Franz Wagner to Hunter Dickinson for an easy dunk:
IT’S TOO EASY FOR MICHIGAN. pic.twitter.com/NHNz5WIVA9
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 28, 2021
Dickinson, a freshman center, recorded 14 points and eight rebounds for Michigan in this one. Wagner had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. And Brandon Johns Jr., who had only averaged 4.5 points per game this season to date, put up 14 points and six rebounds for the Wolverines here. While Sunday’s news that there’s no chance of Livers returning is unfortunate for Michigan, they certainly showed off their depth against the Seminoles. And that now sets up an intriguing Elite Eight matchup against the winner of Sunday night’s game between UCLA and Alabama.
[Photo from Marc Lebryk/USA Today Sports]