Michigan's defense overpowered FSU in last seconds to advance to Final Four


With Michigan up by four, Florida State allowed the Wolverines to dribble out the clock without fouling again. Florida State's only other Final Four trip came in 1972.

The Wolverines are a good team, there is no doubt, but they have Moe Wagner in the middle who can run hot and cold and will struggle defensively against Cameron Krutwig, and beyond that they very much run a four-out system like the Ramblers do.

CBS' analysts and folks on Twitter all didn't understand why FSU just gave up.

BIGGER NUMBERS: After mostly muddling through last week's opening NCAA Tournament games, the Wolverines hit their offensive stride with a 99-point thrashing of Texas A&M in the Sweet Sixteen.

FSU kept hitting shots to make it a two-point game, but was forced to foul MI to stop the clock and put them at the line.

Phil Cofer brought Florida State within two with 24 seconds left, but Robinson nailed a pair of free throws before a defensive stand put the game away.

Still down by four with less than 10 seconds left, FSU made a puzzling decision not to foul MI, which dribbled out the final seconds.

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Abdur-Rahkman and Wagner in the first half.

That trend wouldn't continue, as FSU was able to get into the game before MI had a chance to break it open early, and used a 7-0 run to erase a six-point MI lead and take a 19-17 lead in the middle stages of the first half.

The Wolverines once again won a game led by their defense as they held the Seminoles to 32.7 percent shooting from the field.

MI shot just 33.3 percent overall in the half.

WHAT'S NEXT: Michigan will face Loyola-Chicago on Saturday in an NCAA Tournament Final Four semifinal game in San Antonio.

Charles Matthews led MI with 17 points and eight rebounds, Moritz Wager scored 12 on just 3 of 11 shooting and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Zavier Simpson each scored nine. Two nights after shooting lights out from three, MI struggled from long distance, hitting just 4-of-22 attempts.

MI went to the free-throw line 15 times in the first half, making 11, while FSU was 5-for-5.