Freshman Jordan Poole hit a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to give third-seeded Michigan a 64-63 win over sixth-seeded Houston in the second round of the NCAA Tournament’s West Region on Saturday night in Wichita, Kan.
Poole pumped his fist and sprinted to the opposite end of the court after the buzzer-beating shot as gleeful teammates chased after him. He had no points in the second half until his sideline heave from about 6 feet behind the arc.
Michigan (30-7) advanced to its fourth Sweet 16 appearance in the last six years and marked its first 30-win season since the 2012-13 campaign. The Wolverines now head to Los Angeles, where they will play the winner of Sunday’s game between No. 2 seed North Carolina and No. 7 seed Texas A&M.
Houston (27-8) narrowly missed out on its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1984. Cougars players walked off the court in stunned silence after watching Poole’s shot swish through the net.
The game-winning play started under the opposite basket with 3.6 seconds to go and Houston leading 63-61. Michigan forward Isaiah Livers snapped a one-handed pass to guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman just shy of half-court. Abdur-Rahkman dribbled twice as he passed midcourt and fired a pass to Poole with less than two seconds to go.
Poole’s quick catch-and-release secured his name in Michigan lore.
Both teams traded big baskets in the final minutes.
A layup by Moritz Wagner put Michigan on top 61-60 with 1:44 to go. Both teams missed 3-point attempts on their next possessions before Devin Davis made two free throws with 44.1 seconds left to give Houston a 62-61 advantage.
Davis grabbed a defensive rebound and was fouled on the next possession. He made one of two free throws with 24.9 seconds remaining to make it 63-61.
Abdur-Rahkman missed too strong with a layup on a game-tying attempt as the seconds ticked down. Davis again pulled down a defensive rebound and was fouled, but he missed both of his free throws with 3.9 seconds to go.
Wagner and Abdur-Rahkman led Michigan with 12 points apiece. Charles Matthews scored 11 points before fouling out, Duncan Robinson also had 11 points and Poole scored eight.
Rob Gray finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Houston. Davis added 17 points and seven boards.
The score was even at 28 at the end of the first half.
—Field Level Media