After one member of Michigan’s famous Fab Five called the Wolverines from the stand at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, another member trained the team in Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.
Jalen Rose raised his hand as Michigan coach Juan Howard, leading 11th-seeded Wolverines to a 75-63 victory at the NCAA Championship Games in the early 1990’s. No. 6 Seed Colorado State. The Wolverines (18-14) will face No. 3 Tennessee, who beat No. 14 Longwood, 88-56, in the South Regional Round of 32 on Saturday.
Howard was coaching his second game only after serving a five-game suspension at the end of the regular season, after being hit in the head by a Wisconsin assistant on February 20. Michigan lost its first game to Indiana. Big Ten tournament last week.
Michigan’s victory meant, for the sixth consecutive season, that the No. 11 seed had beaten the No. 6 seed, although the oddmakers still favored Wolverine. Michigan, who rose to No. 4 at the start of the regular season in the Associated Press poll, has won at least one game in six consecutive tournaments.
The Wolverines trailed by about 15 points in the first half, in which they lost seven shots out of pressure, but returned in the second half to outscore the Rums 46-27. Michigan scored 4 for 7 in the second half.
When asked what he said to his players at halftime during a television interview, Howard said: “Get back to our habit. Defensively, we’ve got to do well against that 3-point line. We also have to take our time. Also, overall, they gave us momentum. What happened to our meat and potatoes is our inner game, and our boys really grew up together under the leadership of Hunter Dickinson. “
Immerse yourself in NCAA tournaments
Dickinson, Michigan’s 7-foot-1 sophomore center, finished with 21 points and six rebounds as the Wolverines outscored the Rams 34-16 in the playoffs. With just two minutes left, graduate student guard Ally Brooks added 16 points, including seven jumps, seven rebounds and six assists to take Michigan to 70-60.
Michigan played without point guard Devente ‘Jones, who is in contention protocol and could return on Saturday, but new point guard Frankie Collins led the way with a big performance by adding 14 points with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Wolverines scored 19 off 22 runs from the free-throw line.
Michigan forced the state of Colorado, which entered an average of 10 turnovers in Thursday’s game, to play 11 of them and outscored the Rams 15-11 in fast-break points.
Michigan became the fourth team to beat Colorado State (25-6) this season, which also included San Diego State, Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of Wyoming. Led by coach Nico Medved, the Rams have won 20 or more games in three consecutive seasons.
Providence shuts down South Dakota state, a popular upset pick.
The No. 13 state of South Dakota entered its matchup with fourth-ranked Providence riding a buffalo, one of the most powerful offenses in college basketball.
It averaged 86.7 points per game, second only to Gonzaga, when shooting 45 percent from the 3-point range.
But then the Jacquards fled to the Friars and some old-fashioned Big East in physicality and toughness. Providence covers the state of South Dakota, 66-57, while it had 39 percent shooting and 30 percent arc catch-up. Freyers (26-5) also kept the Jacquards away from the foul line, limiting them to 6 for 9 in the free throw.
“I think our players are strong, I think our players are focused, I think we have an incredible understanding of what our boys are trying to do and our desire to win,” said Providence coach Ed Cooley, Big East coach of the year. In a television interview. “We’ve always heard of how good they were. Our players feel like they’re a good basketball team.”
Providence, who won the Big East regular season title, bounced back from a defeat to Crayton in the Big East Tournament semifinal at Madison Square Garden last Friday to win its first NCAA Tournament game since 2016.
“This is the world for us,” Cooley said. “We have not been lucky in the competition, and this is another step for us to continue to improve as an institution.”
Providence slowed down the game and took a 14-point lead in the second half, with South Dakota State dropping Freyers’ lead to one. But Providence’s Jared Binam was fouled in a 3-point attempt to take his lead to 63-57 with all three free throws. He scored 12 points while Al Durham and Noah Horchler scored 13 points each.
Friars, one of the six big former teams on the field, will face the winner of the Midwest Regional Game between Iowa No. 5 and Richmond No. 12 on Thursday.
Memphis has won its first NCAA Tournament in almost a decade.
Memphis native Alex Lomax won a knee injury in the first half to help coach Penny Hardway help the Tigers win their first NCAA tournament since 2014.
After making a 3-pointer in the first half, Lomax, a 6-foot-tall guard, injured his left leg, causing him to scream in pain. But he came back with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in which the No. 9 Tigers defeated No. 8 Boise State 64-53 in a game at the Portland Ore. No. 1 overall seed, and No. 16 state in the western region of Georgia.
“Dude, I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Lomax said in a televised interview. “I’m very emotional. It’s been eight years since we were able to reach the tournament, and just being from Memphis and being able to win our first win and being a part of it, I can do nothing but feel good. Right now.”
After finishing 12th in Division I in the preseason, Memphis started 9-8 between the viral shock and the mixed game. After defeating Southern Methodist in a conference game in January, Hardway made national news when he bombarded members of the media after the game. At the same time, the highly respected new Immune Bates left the team briefly to treat back pain at home in Michigan. Without him in rotation, Memphis played very well on the stretch, winning 13 of its last 15 games.
The 6-foot-9 Bates, compared to a young Kevin Durant, returned Thursday for the first time since Jan. 27. He made his only attempt, 3-pointer, and finished with 3 points, no assists and no rebounds. In three minutes.
DeAndre Williams led Memphis with 14 points and 5 rebounds, Landers Nolly contributed 12 points and 5 rebounds, and newcomer Jalen Duren contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Lomax scored a big leap to steal 60-53. Oregon transfer Abu Kigab held Bois State, the Mountain West Conference regular-season and tournament champion, ended the game in the second half with a game-best 20 points.
“It means the world to me,” Lomax said when asked how he felt winning the tournament game for Memphis. “I honestly didn’t expect to come here, and now I’m here and I’m doing something special.”