The Michigan Wolverines ran the Florida Gators out of the gym on Sunday, making the Final Four for the first time since 1993. The impressive part wasn't so much that they won, it was how they won. Michigan buried Florida early with a 23-5 run and kept their foot on the gas pedal the whole time, never giving the Gators a punching chance in this one. Florida hardly looked like the same team that ranked No. 2 in KenPom.
Zach Travis of Michigan blog Maize n Blue is ecstatic about the Wolverines' dominant play after an up-and-down season:
Here it is folks. After an up and down year, weeks at number one, losses to a bunch of Big Ten teams, and a blown chance at a conference title, Michigan is playing the best basketball it has all year, and doing so at exactly the right time.
Michigan is in the Final Four. Take a breath and enjoy this.
The big story was Nik Stauskas, who made Florida pay bigtime in the first half, starting 6-6 from the field and 5-5 from three.
Syracuse awaits next Saturday. More about that game is on the way this week.
For now, enjoy this one, everybody. I know I will.
Murphy was the core of Florida's offense in 2012-13, making 72 threes, exactly one more than Florida three-point king Kenny Boynton did, and showing a deft touch around the rim. He was never a great defender, nor really ever a good one, but he developed into a serviceable one around the basket, and a decent rebounder. He will play professionally somewhere, probably in the NBA.
Not a bit of is likely to console him today, after his worst game as a Gator.
Murphy couldn't get right no matter how hard he tried on this Sunday. He went 0-for-11 from the field, and 0-for-2 from three. Leaners inside didn't go. Fadeaway threes didn't go. Nearly everything he shot hit the front rim. And he lumbered slowly out on every closeout, leaving the image of Nik Stauskas pumping in another one as his lasting memory.
Hutchins' farewell article to the Gators' 2012-13 season is a masterful piece, and I could quote the whole thing if I wanted to. Just go over there and read it.
Michigan will face Syracuse in Atlanta next week, while Billy Donovan looks to reload the squad. Despite a potentially historic recruiting class from Kentucky, Florida should be in the thick of the SEC race again next season.
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