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Michigan controlled tempo from the start and now it’s in the Final Four

Mar 31, 2013, 4:55 PM EDT

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There were a few things Florida needed to do to beat Michigan on Sunday to advance to the Final Four.

The Gators needed to force Michigan into turning the ball over, thus allowing them to get out in transition and score points. The Gators needed to contain perimeter shooters that allow the Wolverines to get on a run. And Florida needed to exploit any advantage it would have on the interior against Michigan’s front.

It didn’t work out that way.

Michigan turned the ball over just nine times, shot 10-of-19 from three-point range, and got 11 points and nine rebounds from freshman Mitch McGary in a 79-59 win Sunday afternoon at Texas Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The win gives Michigan a berth in the Final Four in Atlanta.

Coming into Sunday, that was the biggest obstacle for Florida. For a team that makes its living forcing turnovers and turning that into offense, the matchup with Michigan gives them the opposite. Trey Burke led a transition attack in the first half that pushed the lead to as much as 24 points after a Nik Stauskas three with 4:01 remaining.

MORE: Photos from the Elite Eight

Florida seemed to lose track of Stauskas in the first half. Nearly every look he got from the perimeter was an open one and he converted with 22 points on 6-of-6 shooting from three-point range. He and Spike Albrecht, who had seven points on the night and was a defensive factor in the second half with four steals, overextended the Florida defense.

MORE: Mental miscues, questionable coaching decisions doom Gators

Michigan now moves on to play Syracuse in the Final Four in Atlanta. Wichita State, who beat Ohio State to advance to Atlanta, awaits the winner of Duke and Louisville. It is the first time the Wolverines have reached the Final Four since the famed “Fab Five” did it in 1993 and it is the first appearance for coach John Beilein.

Florida has now lost in three straight Elite Eights.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. jgater1981 - Mar 31, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    I hate Michigan with all my being, but they have been so impressive. I thought they couldn’t win big games on the road. I was wrong. McGary has been so impressive too. What a badass. Typing that makes me want to puke.

  2. polegojim - Mar 31, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Excellent Wolverine win… McGary, Burke, Stauskas were the beasts!

    OK, now… enough cheering… and on to REALITY!

    To finish this thing right… Robinson and Hardaway need to pick up their game on BOTH ends. During the first part of second half… when they tried ‘asserting’ themselves… the lead was evaporating… missed shots, sloppy attempts, and shoddy D for both.

    CMon guys – do this thing.

    GO BLUE!!!

  3. florida727 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    I’m a diehard Florida fan, and all I can say is congratulations to Michigan. We came out flat, and Michigan made us play even flatter. A well-earned trip to Atlanta gentlemen. Best of luck. It’ll be a great Final Four. Wish we were going. Three straight trips to the Elite Eight and no Final Fours. It hurts, but like I stated previously, all credit to Michigan. We took a pounding at the wrong time of the season. You guys were awesome.

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