Florida State Seminoles vs

UNC Basketball: What loss to Texas AM means for the future

The Wolverines dismantled the No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies in the Sweet 16, 99-72.

With Florida State and Kansas State advancing Thursday, there are two No. 9 seeds in the Elite Eight for the first time in NCAA tournament history.

The Wolverines, a 3 seed, have already won three Tournament games, including Thursday's Sweet 16 victory over 7 seed Texas A&M.

MI led the entire game and hit 14 3-pointers, including 10 in the first half.

"We kind of live and die with how he's playing", A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.

"Take what the defense gives you", said senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. "I think everyone had that confidence today". Their bench has been phenomenal as the reserves have contributed 118 points, 59 rebounds and 22 assists in their three tournament games so far. German big man Moritz Wagner has terrific in stuffing the stat sheet all over and always seems to be in the middle of a big play for a team that is making them left and right the past few weeks. MI had one of their best offensive nights of their season and had no trouble securing the victory after going into halftime with a 52-28 lead.

Free-throw shooting has plagued the Wolverines in the postseason, but they went 7 of 8 from the line against the Aggies.

The Aggies (22-13) never made a run, going long stretches without a basket in the first half while MI was scoring on almost every trip down the floor. "We didn't show up". "You can be high one minute and low the next". MI lost a heart-breaker in the Sweet 16, 69-68, to OR in the Sweet 16 last season. The Seminoles are much more athletic and they are a tall team as well, ranking 12 nationally in average height.

If Michigan wins, they'll go on to face the victor of No. 4 Gonzaga vs. Seminoles' leading scorer Terance Mann was outstanding in the victory, netting 18 points on 8 for 13 shooting. "Looking at the game plan, trying to execute that, and I think we've been believing all year we can beat anyone if we play our best basketball". FSU, as a six-point underdog, led by nine at the half and 13 early in the second half.

At that point U-M was 7-of-14 overall and 3-of-5 from deep, while A&M was flustered by the Wolverines' tenacious defense and shot at a 3-of-11 clip (.273) with four turnovers.

MI flooded the Staples Center with threes, washed over Texas A&M in a relentless torrent of deadeye shooting and defense, and gully-washed the Aggies all the way back to College Station, 99-72, in a Sweet 16 showdown.

Florida State hasn't been to the Final Four since 1972, and their last Elite Eight appearance came in 1993, when they were led by Bob Sura, Charlie Ward and Sam Cassell.

Four days after a dominant upset win over North Carolina, A&M freshman guard TJ Starks said the Aggies lacked effort in their latest attempt to reach the Elite Eight for the first time in school history.

They improved to 57 percent shooting in the second half, but it didn't make any difference when the Aggies couldn't come close to reducing their deficit to single digits. He was equally pleased to take the time to describe his team's philosophy of playing at least 10 players heavy minutes every game, extolling the virtues of several of his players who openly asked for their teammates to remain in the game instead of them because they were playing well. "It's an absolutely great feeling to keep dancing", Texas A&M center Tonny Trocha-Morelos told reporters.

The game aired in the wee hours of Friday morning in Berlin, where Wagner is from.

"(I want to) do what I always do, just use my body, play position basketball", Davis said. "They backcut, they space the floor, and I'm sure we're just going to have to figure out how to make whatever adjustments we have to in order to be effective in a game that we feel is going to be tremendously challenging for us".

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