Florida State vs Michigan
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
LOS ANGELES – Third-seeded Michigan looks to stay on course for its second Final Four appearance in six years when it faces No. 9 seed Florida State in the West Regional Final on Saturday in Los Angeles. The Wolverines set a new NCAA Tournament single-game record as eight players made at least one 3-pointer in the impressive 99-72 win against seventh-seeded Texas A&M on Thursday to advance to the Elite 8 for the third time in their last five tournament appearances.Michigan, which is coming off its most points scored in an NCAA Tournament game since 1992, has won 12 straight games, including nine in a row away from home, and can set a single-season program record with their 32nd victory at the Staples Center. Florida State overpowered No. 4 seed Gonzaga 75-60 to reach the Elite 8 for the first time since 1993. The Seminoles, who had one player finish in double figures against the Bulldogs, blocked nine shots while holding Gonzaga to 33.9 percent shooting from the floor en route to the upset and hope to put the defensive clamps on the hot-shooting Wolverines to reach their first Final Four in 46 years. “We’re a team that operates with the philosophy that we have to win games by committee,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton told reporters. “They’re all able to contribute offensively and defensively because of that philosophy.”
TV: 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS
ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (23-11): Terance Mann led the way with 18 points to go along with five rebounds despite being hampered by a groin injury while Braian Angola and C.J. Walker each added nine points in the win against Gonzaga. Trent Forrest provided a big spark off the bench with seven points, six rebounds and six assists while fellow reserve Mfiondu Kabengele was an intimidating force in the paint as he registered a game-high four blocks against the Bulldogs. “It feels great,” Forrest told reporters. “We’re a team that from the beginning of the season knew that we could make it as far as we wanted to.”
ABOUT MICHIGAN (31-7): Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 16 of his team-leading 24 points in the second half and dished out seven assists against Texas A&M after shooting a combined 7-of-26 from the floor in his previous two NCAA Tournament games. Moritz Wagner bounced back from two pedestrian performances as he tallied 14 of his 21 points in the first half to set the offensive tone as the Wolverines finished 14-of-24 from 3-point range against the Aggies. Charles Matthews continued his stellar play in the tournament by adding 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting while Zavier Simpson contributed 11 points, six steals and five assists.
1. Michigan has won eight of its last 12 games by double digits.
2. Florida State has held three straight opponents to 70 points or fewer.
3. The winner plays ninth-seeded Kansas State or No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago in the Final Four.