It's not often you see a complete end-to-end beatdown in the Elite Eight, but No. 4 Michigan completely eviscerated No. 3 Florida, 79-59, to move on to their first Final Four since the Fab Five era.
This could have been a classic. The Wolverines entered the game with the No. 1 offensive efficiency in the nation, the Gators with the No. 2 defensive efficiency. With each team loaded 1-5 with talent, by all means this should have been a back-and-forth battle between squads that, on paper, were very evenly matched.
On a team with four potential first-round draft picks, Michigan's Nik Stauskas was the star: the freshman gunner hadn't had a great tournament -- he entered the game shooting just 2-for-16 from downtown in his last four games after hitting over 40 percent on the year -- but he buried the Gators under a barrage of threes. He kept finding space, the Gators -- supposedly the best defense in the country -- couldn't close out, and he went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Canadian marksman was, well, happy. (Florida fans might not have been.)
He finished with 22 points on seven of eight shooting from the field, hitting all six threes he took.
The rest of the Wolverines' were there to a certain extent, but didn't need to be. Trey Burke was active with seven boards and seven assists, but didn't have the scoring touch -- just 11 of his 15 points came on 16 shots -- and Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson II weren't exactly factors either. Mitch McGary only had three points after scoring eight before Florida had even gotten a point on the board. But with Stauskas drilling everything and a mediocre offensive performance by Florida -- generally dependable Scottie Wilbekin and Erik Murphy were the dead weights on a Gators squad trying to keep pace, combining to go 1-for-17 from the field -- there wasn't much competition Sunday afternoon.
Michigan murdered everything from the opening tip. They scored the first 13 points of the game, with McGary finishing with ease over a supposedly intimidating Gator front line featuring Patric Young, and from there they kept piling on. That 13-0 lead moved to 20-5, 30-11, and less than 16 minutes into the game, Michigan already led by 20 points.
There was stuff like this that Florida couldn't compete with:
And so, this one finished out fairly devoid of drama. Trailing by 17 the half, Florida never got closer than 11.
Next up for Michigan is Syracuse, whose defense has been out of this world thus far in the tournament, but considering the way they toyed with a supposedly elite defensive unit Sunday, that might not scare them.