Michigan had a tough matchup in this one, and the Wolverines nearly pitched a perfect game.
VCU is one of the toughest defensive teams in the nation, a full-court fury of different presses, double teams, and swarming defense. Michigan is the best team in the country at holding the ball and led by the best point guard in the country. In the end, Michigan's ball control won the day.
John Beilein's gameplan was perfect. Michigan's full-court offense rendered VCU's press irrelevant. The Wolverines moved the ball up the court well, running off defenders and letting Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke attack one-on-one full court pressure and get the ball into the halfcourt. Once there, Michigan's offense was suberb, as the four factors chart shows.
The Wolverines were led by a career-best game from Mitch McGary. The freshman center hit ten of 11 shots from the floor, pulled down 14 rebounds, and accrued approximately one million hustle points. He was everywhere, and even his mistakes were 1000 miles an hour.
Trey Burke was back to his regular self, and while his turnovers matched his assists (seven of each), his calm demeanor and ability to navigate the full court pressure was what kept Michigan's offense in control of the game.
However, a big shoutout has to go to Michigan's defense, which forced bad shots, pulled down rebounds, and simultaneously stopped VCU from getting into its press while also giving Michigan plenty of opportunities to attack VCU's susceptible transition defense.
So celebrate, Michigan fans. The Wolverines are back in the Sweet Sixteen, and are playing some very good basketball right now.
Also, Mitch McGary might have killed someone.