MIchigan's Wolverines keep themselves in the running toward the national championship.
Saturday night, Jordan Poole was the saving grace that slid Michigan into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament after a buzzer-beating three advanced the Wolverines past Houston’s Cougars. It was when Houston’s Devin Davis missed two free throws that Michigan took to the opportunity to call a final timeout in which they would set the final play in which Poole would take the risky shot from the right wing and the rest is practically history. Poole’s comical reaction was to instinctively run away from his teammates for fear of a painful celebration.
“I saw everybody celebrating," Poole said after the match, "and I always thought if I hit a shot like that, I didn't want to get tackled. So, I tried to avoid everybody." This now marks the 11th straight win for Michigan as they plan to face off against either North Carolina or Texas A&M next week in the West Region semifinals.
“I'm just trying to appreciate the moment of what just happened," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "When he makes that shot, I'm making sure the shot got off. I'm managing my team. I can't even look at the celebration."
All the while coach Kelvin Sampson of the Cougars remained assured in the abilities of his own squad while managing to pass along a word of congratulations to Michigan.
"Sports is a great metaphor for life sometimes. It's not always fair," said Sampson. "I thought our team deserved to win that game. For 39 minutes, 57 seconds, I thought we were the better team. Credit their kid for hitting a big shot. It was a big, big shot he hit."