ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Michigan won 30 games this season. The Wolverines employ one of the game’s best offensive strategists in John Beilein.
Thursday night at Honda Center, one of Beilein’s lesser offensive teams ran into Texas Tech and the defensive wizard who coaches them, Chris Beard.
What a mismatch. Tech throttled Michigan 63-44 to advance to an Elite Eight matchup with No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the West Region final on Sunday. Tech’s defense vs. Gonzaga’s offense could be the heavyweight bout of the tournament.
Michigan didn’t score a basket from outside the paint until about 10 minutes remained. The Wolverines missed their first 18 three-pointers as Tech’s defense hounded outside shooters and tipped most pass attempts inside. Michigan finished 1-for-19 from the arc.
Michigan had 14 turnovers. Tech had eight.
Before Beard arrived three seasons ago, Tech had never made it to the Elite Eight. Beard has taken the Red Raiders there the past two seasons.
Tech’s biggest advantage in the game was star forward Jarrett Culver, who scored a game-high 22 points and had four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“Our guys played well,” Beard said. “That sounds like Captain Obvious, but that’s what it takes this time of year.”