Recap: Michigan cruises past Montana, 74-53, in first round of NCAA Tournament

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News
Michigan's Jon Teske shoots the first half.

Game summary

Michigan's round-of-64 performance against Montana was a lot stronger than it was a year prior, as the Wolverines jumped out to an early lead and never looked back on their way to a 74-55 win in Des Moines, Iowa Thursday night.

Charles Matthews led the way with 22 points and  rebounds, Ignas Brazdeikis scored 14, Teske 11 and Zavier Simpson tallied 11 assists.

Michigan will play the Florida Gators on Saturday, with the winner earning a trip to the Sweet 16.

Michigan bench players close out first-round win

All of Michigan's starters have left the court except Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole. Poole exits after making two quick free throws.

Donaven Dorsey hits a 3-pointer for Montana. Brandon Johns Jr. gets 2 points in the paint.

Matthews then heads to the bench, as do most of Montana's starters. 

Mack Anderson hits a pair of free throws for Montana, Timmy Falls follows it up with a 3-pointer.

FINAL: Michigan 74, Montana 55

Michigan starters provide 24-point cushion near end of game

Sayeed Pridgett and Isaiah Livers trade layups following the media timeout.

Moments later, Livers and Timmy falls exchange 3-pointers. 

Charles Matthews draws a shooting foul and, after making both free throws, has 22 points.

Ignas Brazdeikis flexes after using his strength to get up a bucket in the paint. Ahmaad Rorie makes a layup on the other end, and the entire Montana bench flexes in Bradeikis' face while the Michigan freshman jogs back down the court. Michigan leads by 24.

Media timeout: Michigan 70, Montana 46 (3:24 2nd)

Matthews, Brazdeikis leading way as Michigan extends lead to 23

Charles Matthews hits both free throws. He has a game-high 18.

Bobby Moorehead drills a 3-pointer for Montana, making it 50-35. Jon Teske responds for the Wolverines with a basket that beats the shot clock by a fraction of a second.

Isaiah Livers' third foul of the game will send Michael Oguine to the line for a 1-and-1. Oguine misses. Then Timmy Falls is called for a foul on the other end, his fourth.

Ignas Brazdeikis will go to the line after getting fouled on a drive to the rim. He makes both.

Sayeed Pridgett hits a layup on the other end. Jordan Poole responds with a layup of his own, getting fouled on his way to the rim. He makes the ensuing free throw. Michigan leads by 20 for the first time this game.

A Teske steal leads to a Matthews layup.

Media timeout: Michigan 59, Montana 37 (7:43 2nd)

Montana hanging in as Michigan looks for knockout punch

Timmy Falls gets to the rim with force and converts a layup after the break. Ahmaad Rorie draws a foul, gets to the free throw line on Montana's next possession. He makes it 44-30.

Michigan commits its 10th turnover of the game moments later and the Grizzlies have it again. Charles Matthews is called for a foul. Rorie misses from 3.

Simpson hits a textbook hook shot to give Michigan a 16-point lead.

Rorie gets the the free throw line again on the ensuing Montana possession. He makes both. It's 46-32.

Sayeed Pridgett and Ignas Brazdeikis verbally spar after Brazdeikis gets fouled and starts having some fun with the basketball after the play. Brazdeikis then makes both free throws.

Charles Matthews then draws a shooting foul a possession later. He'll shoot two free throws after a quick timeout.

Media timeout: Michigan 48, Montana 32 (12:00 2nd)

Michigan takes largest lead of game after shaky start to half

Both Jon Teske and Ignas Brazdeikis miss inside on Michigan's first possession of the half.

Sayeed Pridgett makes it a 10-point game with a 3-pointer. Moments later, Michigan's Jordan Poole, who has yet to score, is called for an offensive foul.

Pridgett executes a gorgeous spin move around Teske and banks in a layup, making it 34-26.

Poole hits from 3 to give Michigan its double-digit lead back. Charles Matthews drills a jump shot on the Wolverines' next possession. He's 6 of 10 and the lead is back to 13.

Zavier Simpson draws two defenders down the baseline, finds Matthews cutting around the arc. Matthews hits from deep to make it 42-26, Michigan. 

Teske forces a turnover on Montana's next possession and finishes with an alley-oop  thanks to Zavier Simpson.

Just like that, Michigan takes its largest lead of the game with a 10-0 run.

Media timeout: Michigan 44, Montana 26 (15:59 2nd)


Michigan heads into half up 13

Charles Matthews makes one of two free throws after the break. Donaven Dorsey hits from beyond the arc to make it 30-18.

Ignas Brazdeikis makes a beautiful effort to swipe a pass away from Montana, head the other way and throw down a powerful dunk. He got fouled at the end of the play but misses from the stripe.

Michael Oguine hits an and-1 layup on the other end for Montana. He makes the free throw and cuts Michigan's lead to 11.

Isaiah Livers while head to the line, drawing a foul while Michigan is in the bonus. He hits both free throws. Michigan leads, 34-21.

Jordan Poole turns it over a possession later; the Wolverines have now turned it over eight times.

Matthews can't hit a deep ball at the buzzer and Michigan will head into the locker room up 13.

Halftime: Michigan 34, Montana 21

Montana heating up from field, cutting into Michigan's double-digit lead

Timmy Falls gets a shot off over Charles Matthews and cuts Montana's deficit to 21-8.

Jordan Poole gets the momentum right back for Michigan with an alley-oop to Ignas Brazdeikis on the other end. 

Media timeout: Michigan 23, Montana 8 (7:09 1st)

Montana has it after the break. Zavier Simpson steals, makes a pretty pass to Matthews on the other end, which yields a foul. Matthews then beats the shot clock with a turnaround jumper that makes it 25-8.

Ahmaad Rorie hits a jump shot on the other end. 

Bobby Moorehead is then fouled on a 3-pointer by Brazdeikis on Montana's next possession. He makes the last of three free throws. Rorie scores in transition a few moments later, cutting Michigan's lead to 12.

Brazdeikis makes a pair of free throws to make it 27-12. Sayeed Pridgett hits a nice layup on the other end for the Grizzlies.

Jon Teske throws down a dunk to make it 29-15, Michigan. Teske has seven points.

Media timeout: Michigan 29, Montana 15 (3:17 1st)

Michigan's Matthews yet to miss from field

Isaiah Livers misses his first deep shot of the game, but makes up for it with a block on Ahmaad Rorie on the other end. Jon Teske scores on the ensuing Michigan possession.

Livers misses another 3. Timmy falls can't finish with a layup for the Grizzlies.

Ignas Brazdeikis kicks it to Livers inside, Livers catches and fires immediately to Charles Matthews, who finishes with another layup. He's 4-for-4 with eight points.

Media timeout: Michigan 21, Montana 6 (8:23 1st)

Michigan extends lead, Montana struggling to find scoring touch

Montana's Bobby Moorehead misses a hook shot; Isaiah Livers draws a shooting foul at the other end. Livers makes one of two. Michigan leads, 10-2.

Donaven Dorsey throws down a dunk to make it 10-4. Livers is called for a foul after Zavier Simpson turns it over.

Jon Teske finds Charles Matthews inside with a tight bounce pass that leads to a two-handed dunk. Eli Brooks gets on the board two possessions later with a 3-pointer that catches nothing but the bottom of the net. It's 15-4, Michigan.

Sayeed Pridgett hits a deep 2-pointer. Simpson responds with a nice layup on the other end.

Media timeout: Michigan 17, Montana 6 (10:57 1st)

3-point shooting starts slow, Michigan still leading by 7 after first timeout

Michigan wins the tip and we're underway. Teske is unable to finish inside on Michigan's first possession. The Wolverines quickly get it back with a stop, head the other way.

Teske hits the hardwood hard after getting fouled on his way to the rim. He misses both free throws.

Jordan Poole misses from deep. Charles Matthews puts home the rebound to put Michigan up, 2-0. Sayeed Pridgett responds with a bucket in the paint.

Ignas Brazdeikis hits a long 2-pointer. Poole misses another 3-pointer on the Wolverines' next possession, then it's Brazdeikis missing a triple moments later. Michigan is 0-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Teske hits from deep to give Michigan a 7-2 lead. Matthews' motor seems to be better at a higher level than it was a week prior in the Big Ten tournament, and he works inside for another Michigan bucket.

Media timeout: Michigan 9, Montana 2 (15:01 1st)


Michigan begins NCAA Tournament play against the same first-round opponent from last year: Montana. Follow the action throughout Thursday night’s game with live updates by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.



Tip-off: 9:20 p.m. Thursday, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa

TV/radio: TNT/950

Records: Michigan 28-6; Montana 26-8

Next up: Winner faces No. 7 Nevada or No. 10 Florida