Instant reaction: Three quick takeaways from Michigan's loss to Texas Tech
Nolan Bianchi with three quick takeaways from Michigan's 63-44 loss to Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal on Thursday.
Where art thou, oh offense?
It was evident that after Michigan's performance from the field in Saturday's round-of-32 win over Florida that the Wolverines would be in trouble if they were unable to find consistency on the offensive end. In their Sweet 16 matchup with Texas Tech, that held true. And it did spell trouble. In all capital letters.
Relaying that the Wolverines failed to hit a 3-pointer until C.J. Baird, who averaged just 1.8 minutes per game this season, hit a 3 with 22 seconds left in the game, wouldn't tell the whole story. And noting that the Wolverines broke a 61-year-old record for least amount of points scored in a half would only tell half of it.
Perhaps the most shocking stat of all is that Michigan failed to score a single bucket outside of the paint until Ignas Brazdeikis, who had a team-high 17 points and 13 rebounds, hit a mid-range jumper with 10:01 left in the second half.
Sophomore Jordan Poole shot 50 percent from the field, but his opportunities in Tech's suffocating defense were extremely limited. Senior Charles Matthews was 3-for-9, finishing with 12. Zavier Simpson and Isaiah Livers failed to score.
A tale of two defensive halves
All the excitement surrounding the pair of top-3 defenses seemed justified through 20 minutes of play. Neither Michigan nor Tech could find their groove early on, and despite Tech's 8-point lead, the game's result felt very much up in the air after one half.
But after returning to the court — the Wolverines' offensive woes aside — Texas Tech and Michigan looked like two completely different teams. The Red Raiders scored at will, shooting 52 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc.
Tech guard Jarrett Culver dominated the Wolverines all over the floor, putting up 14 in the second half.
Turnovers add insult to injury
As if poor shooting wasn't enough to do in Michigan's dreams of making consecutive Elite Eight appearances, the Wolverines turned the ball over on 23 percent of their possessions — and the Red Raiders made them pay, turning 14 turnovers into 16 points.
Matthews, who appeared to be finding his groove after solid performances in tournament wins over Montana and Florida, committed five turnovers. And Simpson, Michigan's rock at the point, gave it up four times.