Michigan breezes past VCU 78-53
Freshman center Mitch McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds, both career highs, as Michigan reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994 with a 78-53 romp over Virginia Commonwealth at The Palace on Saturday.
Trey Burke added 18 points, while Tim Hardaway Jr. and freshman Glenn Robinson III each scored 14 for the Wolverines (28-7), the No. 4 seed in the South Region.
Michigan advanced to play the winner of Sunday's Kansas-North Carolina game on Friday at Cowboy Stadium in Texas.
The Wolverines shook off the Rams' vaunted pressure, shooting 51.7 percent while committing only 12 turnovers.
No. 5 seed Virginia Commonwealth (27-9) was forcing 19.9 turnovers per game, tops in the country. Michigan also controlled the boards with a 44-25 rebounding advantage.
Juvonte Reddic's 16 points led Virginia Commonwealth, which failed in its bid for a second Sweet 16 appearance in three years.
Michigan took control in the closing minutes of the first half and steadily increased its lead after halftime.
McGary, whose previous high was 14 points against Ohio State, scored nine points in the first five minutes of the second half to give the Wolverines a 49-33 advantage.
Robinson, running around in a torn jersey, then had a dunk and set up Burke's 3-pointer, pushing the lead to 57-35. Nik Stauskas made a 31-point game at 72-41 with a layup.
Burke scored 11 and Robinson contributed 10 as the Wolverines jumped to a 38-23 halftime lead. Michigan went on a late 13-2 run to get its lead into double digits.
Hardaway sparked it with a 3-pointer and Burke hit an open 19-footer after McGary sprung him loose with a hard screen. Robinson gave the Wolverines their biggest lead at 38-21 by converting Burke's lob for a dunk.
Rams point guard Darius Theus played only four first-half minutes because of foul trouble and Virginia Commonwealth's offense fell apart without him.
The Rams shot 30.3 percent and had only two assists in the first half, while their press failed to produce any fast-break points.
NOTES: Michigan will make its 12th Sweet 16 appearance. ... The Rams also played a Big Ten school in the third round the last two seasons, defeating Georgetown during their 2011 Final Four run and losing to Indiana last year. ... Michigan has a 7-1 record all-time at The Palace. ... This was the first meeting between the schools. ... Wolverines coach John Beilein had a 7-3 record against Virginia Commonwealth when he coached Richmond. ... The Rams are 21-6 in postseason tournaments since 2009 under coach Shaka Smart.
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