MILWAUKEE (AP) — Nik Stauskas and Michigan figured out the best way to overcome Texas’ advantage inside. Just keeping hitting from long range.
Stauskas made four of Michigan’s 14 3-pointers, and the Wolverines beat the Longhorns 79-65 on Saturday to advance to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 for the second straight year.
Stauskas finished with 17 points and eight assists as Michigan (27-8) moved on to next week’s Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis. The second-seeded Wolverines will face the winner of Sunday’s Mercer-Tennessee game.
Michigan lost to Louisville in the national championship game a year ago. But the Wolverines are rolling again, thanks to strong outside shooting and Jordan Morgan’s work inside.
Isiah Taylor scored 22 points for Texas on 8-for-22 shooting. The seventh-seeded Longhorns (24-11) outrebounded the Wolverines 41-30, but got off to a slow start and never recovered.
Michigan shot 14 for 28 from 3-point range and 17 for 21 at the free throw line in its ninth win in the last 10 games. Morgan had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Caris LeVert and Glenn Robinson III had 14 points each.
Texas trailed by 18 points early in the second half, but used its defense and rebounding to get back in the game. Martez Walker hit two free throws and Taylor had a jumper to trim Michigan’s lead to 58-52 with 8 minutes left.
That’s when Robinson stepped up for the Wolverines, driving inside for a score. After Connor Lammert turned it over for the Longhorns, Robinson hit a 3-pointer to make it 63-52 with 6:43 remaining.
LeVert added a big 3 in the final minutes, helping Michigan overcome its trouble inside in the second half. The Longhorns outrebounded the Wolverines 25-15 after halftime.
Michigan was coming off a 57-40 victory over Wofford, while Texas advanced with a dramatic 87-85 victory over Arizona State in the late game Thursday night. The Longhorns and Sun Devils were tied in the final seconds when Cameron Ridley picked up a loose ball and banked it in as time expired.
It might have been the completely different games in the previous round or just Michigan’s advantage in tournament experience, but the Wolverines jumped all over the Longhorns at the start.
Stauskas led the way with his outside shooting and passing skills. He had three of Michigan’s eight 3s in the first half. He also threw a perfect alley-oop pass to Robinson for a dunk that made it 36-18 with 3:35 left, and found Morgan for another jam off a perfect pick-and-roll.
Texas trailed 43-30 at halftime, and it would have been a lot worse without Taylor’s slashing ability. The speedy freshman had the last four points of the half on a layup and two free throws, giving him a game-high 12 points at the break.
Texas was trying to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008 and the sixth in the last 13 years.
The previous game between the Longhorns and Wolverines also was in the NCAA tournament at the Bradley Center. Then-No. 10 seed Texas advanced with an 80-76 victory in the first round in 1996.