Rapid reaction: Michigan beats Montana in first win of NCAA Tournament

Basketball

Michigan (3)?take down the?Montana Grizzlies?(14) by a score of 61-47.

The Big Ten Tournament champ against the Big Sky Tournament champ.

Montana looked to upset the Wolverines on their way to an underdog tournament run.

Michigan entered this game on almost 2 weeks of rest, and it was visible.

BAD start

The Wolverines looked terrible to start this game.

After the first 3 minutes of the game, they had 3 turnovers, 0 points, with fouls on both MAAR and Zavier Simpson.

Because of this, Michigan fell down by 10 points before they even scored.

Early fouls on Zavier Simpson a blessing… offensively

The Michigan point guard picked up two early fouls and subsequently ended up on the bench for a?big part of the first half.

This lead to Jaaron Simmons and Eli Brooks both getting important minutes.

In the first half the two back up point guards combined for 8 points on a perfect 4 of 4 shooting.

Defensively, Michigan struggled to hold Montana’s guards. Their back court is so quick, and the Wolverines were getting beat with fast first steps.

Ahmaad Rorie and Michael Oguine has 21 of Montana’s 28 first half points

Michigan second half defense

After playing a relatively decent half of defense and giving up 31 points in the first half, this Michigan defense really locked down in the second.

Some of this is due to Simpson being able to play after being autobenched in the first half. It seems a lot was half time adjustments. There was no more Michael Oguine dribbling right past anyone, and shots were being heavily contested. Bigs were stepping out on the guards harder?and recovering.

Montana scored only 16 points in the second half.

Player of the game – Charles Matthews

In a game where the Wolverines had a hard time finding good shots, Charles Matthews was getting to the rim and getting buckets.

Behind his?double-double, featuring?20 points (7-13), 11 rebounds, and 1 assist, Michigan was able to get first-round win over Montana.

 

Here is a link to the full box score.

 

Michigan (3) is set to match up with the Houston Cougars (6) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament this Saturday, March 17.

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