Michigan battles Texas for trip to Sweet 16
Seventh-seeded Texas has to get through No. 2 Michigan and its new-found defense in Saturday's third-round matchup of the Midwest regional if the Longhorns want to advance past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. The Wolverines beat Wofford 57-40 in the second round, the fewest point allowed by Michigan at the tournament. "We know we're pretty efficient offensively and most time we don't have very much trouble scoring the basketball from different people and different games," forward Jordan Morgan said in Thursday's postgame conference. "So we know we're only going to go as far as our defense carries us, and we never know which game is really going to be our last. So we just want to play every game defensively as best we can."
Cameron Ridley led the Longhorns' balanced offense and big frontcourt with 17 points, 12 rebounds and Thursday's game-winner at the buzzer against Arizona State. Texas had six players in double figures, went 8-of-8 in transition and outscored the Sun Devils 42-30 in the paint on the way to the Longhorns' most points (87) in a NCAA tournament game since a 90-72 victory against Oregon in 1995. Texas and Michigan have split two NCAA tournament meetings, although the Longhorns' 1996 upset - also in Milwaukee - was part of a vacated Michigan season.
TV: 5:15 p.m. ET, CBS
ABOUT TEXAS (24-10): Ridley is averaging 11.4 points on 54.8 percent shooting and 8.2 rebounds and Jonathan Holmes adds 12.9 points on 50.7 percent shooting and 7.1 rebounds. Freshman guard Isaiah Taylor adds 12.4 points and Javan Felix chips in 11.8 points for Texas, which is ranked fourth nationally with 41.8 rebounds. Freshman backup guard Martez Walker is averaging 11.3 points over his last four games after a career-high 16 on Thursday.
ABOUT MICHIGAN (26-8): Nik Stauskas leads the Wolverines, who average 75 points, with 17.4 points and is shooting 45.1 percent from the 3-point line. Stauskas moved into eighth place on Michigan's all-time list of made 3-pointers with 163 - the most by a Michigan player in the first two years of his career since Louis Bullock hit 171 between 1995 and 1997. Caris LeVert adds 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds and Glenn Robinson III chips in 13 points and 4.4 rebounds.
1. Since the start of last season, Michigan is 24-1 when Stauskas makes more than 50 percent of his field-goal attempts, including 12-0 this season,
2. Texas leads the series 2-1, beating Michigan on a neutral court in 1990 and in the first round of the 1996 NCAA tournament, and losing to the Wolverines in the 1994 tournament's round of 32.
3. Michigan coach John Beilein (699-411) tries to become the sixth active coach with 700 career wins.