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March 25, 2013 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-25

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0 The Michigan Daily ( michigandaily.com March 25, 2013

The New Routine?
Sweet Sixteen

dominate VCU to'
advance to fourth
round of NCAAs
Daily Sports Editor
week long, the Michigan men's
basketball team had to listen to
talk about being a common upset
pick, if not at the hands of South
Dakota State, then by upstart,
"Havoc"-reeking Virginia Com-
Saturday afternoon, in a
maize-and-blue-packed Palace of
Auburn Hills, it was the Wolver-
ines who sent a statement loud
and clear: they are for real.
Michigan flexed its muscles
early and
often, blow- VCU 53
ing out MICHIGAN 78
the Rams,
78-53, to earn the program's first
Sweet Sixteen trip since 1994.
"We're human, we watch TV,
we watch games and we see the
brackets and peoples' predic-
tions," said sophomore point
guard Trey Burke. "That's defi-
nitely motivation for us.
"We showed a lot of people
that we're hungry and that we're
still good."
The Wolverines (12-6 Big Ten,
28-7 overall) closed the first half
on an 11-2 run to take a 15-point
lead into halftime and didn't
look back. After the teams trad-
ed buckets in the second half's
opening minutes, Michigan -
led by the intensity of freshman
forward Mitch McGary- proved
to be too much for VCU and its
vaunted pressure defense to
McGary, an animal all day
inside the paint and on the
glass, finished with a game and
career-high 21 points on 10-of-
11 shooting and a career-high

14 rebounds. His 34 minutes
were also a career high. Mean-
while, Burke and junior guard
Tim Hardaway Jr. played with
a poised demeanor, often break-
ing through the Rams' full-court
pressure, nicknamed "Havoc,"
with ease. Burke recorded 18
points and seven assists, while
Hardaway finished with 14.
From the get-go, it was obvi-
ous McGary's energy would be
the difference, and he was quick
to note that it extends beyond
just the stat sheet.
"Everybody feeds off it,"
McGary said. "Everybody start-
ed feeling it, and we just kept it
"Our team was having fun out
there. Everyone was feeding off
each other and it was really ener-
getic.... I feel like we wanted ita
bit more."
While many pundits assumed
the Wolverines would struggle
to keep pace with VCU - espe-
cially after the Rams bea
their second-round oppo-
nent, Akron, by 46 points
on Thursday - it was
VCU (12-4 Atlantic
10, 27-9 overall) who
looked out of sorts.
Michigan outscored
the Rams 15-4 in
transition and
scored 17 points of
of turnovers, com-
pared to VCU's 10.
Freshman forward
Glenn Robinson
III found himself
open in transition
all day long, chipping
in 14 points and nine
Despite what the
experts said, the Wolver-
ines knew they play their
best basketball when they're
able to get into transition and'
play in space. After watching
VCU during Friday's film ses-
sion, several Michigan players
noted thatthey felt confident that
if they could break the press, that

they'd have a field day.
"Once we saw their type of
pressure, we knew that their
defense could turn into our
offense," Burke said. "We knew
that we didn't necessarily have
to run alot of half-court sets just
because if we break the press,
we're going to have numbers, and
that's what we did."
The Wolverines dominated the
rebounding battle, 41-24, includ-
ing 17 offensive boards. Theyalso
shot 52 percent, including 55.2
percent in the second half as they
continued to widen the margin.
Throughout the game, the
Wolverines' bench looked to
be having as much fun as it did
See SWEET 16, Page 2B

Hello, Mitch Mc Gary

Jordan Morgan has been
the starting center for this
Michigan basketball team
for three years. Besides junior
forward Tim Hardaway Jr., he
has been around longer than any
member of the starting lineup.
Out of Michigan's 32 games
this year, the redshirt junior
started 27 of them. He was
lauded for beingthe defensive
captain in the middle, the under-
rated key to the Wolverines' suc-
s. His stats were
ever over-

- averaging around five points
and five rebounds a game - but
Michigan, especially on defense,
didn't look the same without
Yet in Michigan's 78-53 win
over Virginia Commonwealth on
Saturday, the win that pushed
Michigan to its first Sweet Six-
teen appearance since 1994,
Morgan didn't play a single min-
ute, and that
was the right
Rams, the
needed the
man who has EVERETT
een back- COOK
ost of the year. They
eeded their behemoth,
heir human lightning
od, the man known
ore for his energy
nd crowd-pleasing
ntics than his
ctual play.
They needed
reshman forward
itch McGary,
who did things to
the Rams' front-
court that Michi-
gan hasn't seen all
season. This game
was supposed to be
about VCU's "Havoc"
defense, and the guard
play that goes along with
it. In a way, it was, but it was
also about McGary's emer-
gence on a national stage.
In November, he was more
of a caricature of a post player.
There were moments of athletic
brilliance, when you shook your
head and wondered how some-

body 6-foot-10 could move that
He was a fan favorite early,
known for waving his arms and
diving for loose balls more than
post moves or points.
Reminders that he hadn't
pieced it all together would
appear - a missed dunk here, a
slipped defensive rotation there.
He had the tools, but hadn't
showcased it in a complete game.
Then Saturday happened -
the emergence of "Hercules,"
at least according to Michigan
assiStant coach Baccari Alex-
He played 34 minutes, scoring
21 points on 10-of-11shooting
while pulling down 14 rebounds.
Every single one of those num-
bers is a career-high.
Right from the get-go,
McGary's energy and intensity
set the tone, muscling his way
around a defender for a big dunk
less than two minutes into the
game. He was all over the court,
finding open seams in the fast
break and using his bigbody for
offensive put backs all afternoon.
The double-double came just a
couple minutes into the second
half, on a play where McGary
put back an offensive rebound,
got fouled and made the free
After the game, VCU for-
ward Juvonte Reddic said that
McGary outworked him in the
game. Plain and simple.
There were stretches in
November when that would have
been tough for McGary to sus-
tain over 34 minutes of play - he
would look gassed after four-
minute spans on the court.
"He came in weighing in the
250s, ballooned up a little bit,
you know, enjoyingthe cafeteria
See MCGARY, Page 26

The Michigan hockey team's 22-year
NCAA Tournament streak ended Sunday.
The Daily takes a look back at the run.
>>See Section C

* The Michigan softball team started off
the Big Ten season the way it typically
has: with a sweep, this time, over Purdue.
Page 4B

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