March Madness: Well-rested MI gears up for Montana

Michigan plods to 61-47 win over Montana in NCAA first round

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"I thought we executed well, there was just a stretch where they made some adjustments in our ball-screen coverage they took advantage of, and you would expect that out of a well-coached team". The Grizzlies built a 10-0 lead, as MI didn't score its first points until Matthews' jumper inside the 16-minute mark. "It's tough when that doesn't happen".

"We worked so hard to get to this point", Flaherty said, standing next to Dunston.

"At the end of the day it's tough to win a game against a team like MI if you shoot 32 percent from the field, "added Oguine who also scored 15 points. We're going to be hungry, and hopefully we'll have a better result next year". "So 3's weren't falling tonight, but proud of how we fought".

MI committed 14 turnovers, and only dished out 11 assists, uncharacteristic numbers for a team that ranks second in the country in turnovers per game.

Under Dunston's leadership, the Wolverines have amassed a 22-9 overall record, including marquee wins over Marquette, Nebraska, Ohio State and Maryland - all of which are also slated to compete in the Big Dance. And points in the paint were tied 26-26. Simpson and Abdur-Rahkman got into early foul trouble.

Moritz Wagner scored his first points on a thundering dunk in the opening seconds of the second half, which set the tone for the Wolverines. They possess the second-best offense in the nation, scoring 86.6 points per game.

"Their heart, their passion, their desire to perform", head coach Travis DeCuire said, describing what he'd remember about this team. "But all respect to that team". "They have established themselves as two of the best players in the country".

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"If you'd have told me going into the game that they'd have a negative assist-to-turnover ratio and turn it over 14 times, we'd take nine more shots and basically break even on the glass with eight offensive rebounds to their five, I'd probably tell you we won".

Montana held the lead through the first 13-plus minutes, and even when MI took its first lead with 3:59 to play in the half, the Grizzlies always stayed within five points and trailed by just three at the break.

WHO STARRED: Matthews led all scorers with 20 points, including 12 in the first half. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.

"We had a couple of different things we do about", Beilein said of finding space near the free-throw line and finding Matthews on cuts to the rim to beat the trap.

"We want to play", MI junior forward and leading scorer Moritz Wagner told the Detroit News. The 6'11 star from Germany was frustrated all night by aggressive Griz defense, led mostly by Krslovic.

The 6'8 Australian is the only senior on the Montana roster. The Grizzlies were the Big Sky regular season champions and punched their ticket with a win at the conference tournament.

"I thought it was a great basketball game for us", Arico said. They're 4-4 against top 32 teams, giving them an upper hand over the Grizzlies who didn't play any top 32 teams this season. "Last year, I think that (winning the championship) was a big deal for us, but just to be able to play against some of the 64 best teams against the country is an honor".

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