March 25, 2018 / 3:31 AM / 7 months ago

No. 3 seed Michigan edges No. 9 Florida State to advance to Final Four

Using a 9-0 run late in the game, third-seeded Michigan won the West Region on Saturday night with a 58-54 decision over ninth-seeded Florida State at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Charles Matthews paced the Wolverines (32-7) with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Moritz Wagner chipped in 12 points despite foul trouble that sent him to the bench during the game-deciding spurt.

Duncan Robinson capped the key run with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:22 left that gave Michigan a 54-44 lead. It barely held up as the Seminoles (23-12) stormed back with an 8-1 burst, slicing the deficit to 55-52 on a 3-pointer by PJ Savoy with 1:16 remaining.

Florida State made it a 56-54 game when Phil Cofer, its leading scorer with 16 points, tipped in a missed shot with 22.0 seconds left. But Robinson sank two free throws with 20.9 seconds remaining, then grabbed the rebound of a missed 3-pointer and dribbled out the clock.

The Wolverines will meet South Region champion Loyola (Ill.) on March 31 in the Final Four in San Antonio. It’s Michigan’s first Final Four appearance since 2013.

Savoy finished with 12 points for the Seminoles, who made just 32 percent of their field-goal attempts.

The teams that raced up and down the floor in lopsided regional semifinal wins Thursday night bore no resemblance to the ones that set the tone for a rockfight by grinding through a first half in which neither led by more than six points.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman drained a 3-pointer to give Michigan a 10-4 edge just over three minutes into the game, but Florida State’s length and quickness began bothering the Wolverines at that point.

Holding Michigan to four points in just under 6 1/2 minutes, the Seminoles grabbed a 17-15 edge when Braian Angola swished two free throws following a Flagrant 1 foul on Robinson at the 10:32 mark. But the Wolverines didn’t allow a point over the final 4:40 of the half, and Wagner’s two foul shots with a minute left gave them a 27-26 edge at intermission.

—Field Level Media

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