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Recap: Michigan cruises past Texas Southern in NCAA tourney opener, 82-66

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News
Franz Wagner and Michigan take on Texas Southern on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament.

Game summary

1-seed Michigan survived a late surge from 16-seed Texas Southern in round one of the NCAA tournament on Saturday afternoon and cruised to a 88-62 win behind double-digit scoring figures from all starters except Franz Wagner, who had nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Mike Smith had a team-high 18 points, Hunter Dickinson scored 16 and foul out in the second half, and Brandon Johns Jr. and Eli Brooks each added 11 for the No.1-seed Michigan.

Michigan can earn a ticket to the Sweet 16 on Monday with a victory over No. 8 LSU, who knocked off St. Bonaventure in the first round, 76-61.

Michigan closes out Texas Southern in NCAA tournament opener

Quinton Brigham dunks in transition out of the break to cut Michigan's lead to 20, and Michael Weathers converts a 3-point play on the following possession to make it 69-52.

TSU begins to full-court press with just over six minutes to go in the game. Michigan breaks it and gets the ball to Hunter Dickinson inside, where he adds a bucket to give himself 14 points on the day.

TSU scores on its next two possessions to make it a 16-point game.

Media timeout: Michigan 73, Texas Southern 57 (4:01 2nd)

Karl Nicholas makes a pair of free throws, TSU gets a turnover and scores in transition, and all of a sudden, it's a 12-point game.

Karl Nicholas fouls out and Eli Brooks goes to the line, hitting both to snap the run and put Michigan up 14, which Weathers quickly reverses with a bucket on the other end.

Then it's Hunter Dickinson fouling out, as he gets a little fast and loose with his elbows while trying to work his way to the basket. The play is now being reviewed for a flagrant.

Dickinson is assessed a Flagrant 1, which gives Yahuza Rasas two big free throws: He misses both.

Franz Wagner drills a 3-pointer to give the Wolverines some breathing room with 1:52 to go. Smith's second-chance bucket puts the game away for good.

FINAL: Michigan 82, Texas Southern 66

Michigan pulling away from Texas Southern in second half

John Walker scores on back-to-back possessions for Texas Southern and Yahuza Rasas adds a jumper to cut down the Michigan lead to 18.

Austin Davis hits a layup to stop the run, but Jordan Gilliam answers with a bucket in the paint. It's 57-39, Michigan. 

Mike Smith finishes in transition to make it a 20-point lead for the Wolverines.

Media timeout: Michigan 59, Texas Southern 39 (11:43 2nd)

Michael Weathers converts a 3-point play after being fouled, then finishes on a layup. 

Smith and TSU's John Jones trade 3-pointers, giving Texas Southern its first bucket from long distance today.

Austin Davis answers with a layup to push the lead back to 19. Terrance Williams scores inside and makes an and-1 free throw.

Media timeout: Michigan 69, Texas Southern 47 (7:53 2nd)

Michigan keeps momentum rolling in early stages of second half

Michigan gets a turnover on the opening possession as Eli Brooks knocks down another 3-pointer to open the half.

Yahuza Rasas and Brandon Johns trade layups, giving Michigan a 50-24 lead.

Texas Southern is still looking for its first 3-pointer of the game after Jordan Gilliam misses from way downtown as the shot clock expires.

Hunter Dickinson backs down his man, turns around, and knocks down a short jumper. John Walker answers with a nice look in the paint. 

The Wolverines go back to Dickinson inside, and this time he draws a foul to make it 52-28 on a pair of free throws.

Justin Hopkins capitalizes on an and-1 free throw, but Michigan storms right back and gets it back with a Brandon Johns 3.

Media timeout: Michigan 55, Texas Southern 31 (15:08 2nd)

Michigan grabs 18-point lead before halftime vs. Texas Southern

Brandon Johns gets fouled out of the break and heads to the line. He makes one of two, making it a 36-20 lead for the Wolverines.

Mike Smith answers a Jordan Gilliam layup with a 3-pointer on the other end.

Terrance Williams in now for Michigan, and he gets a trip to the line pretty quickly, making one of two. Michael Weather scores in the paint to make it 40-24.

Smith gets to the hoop and lays in a bucket, leaving Texas Southern the chance at one last possession before halftime.

Tight defense from Eli Brooks forces an airball at the buzzer and sets a new season-low for first-half scoring for Texas Southern.

HALFTIME: Michigan 42, Texas Southern 24 

Michigan weathers Texas Southern run, holds 35-20 lead

Quinton Brigham makes a layup out of the break to cut Michigan's lead to 15 before yet another timeout.

Media timeout: Michigan 29, Texas Southern 14 (7:04 1st)

Michael Weathers makes a pair of free throws and Jordan Gilliam finishes a second-chance opportunity, and Texas Southern has put together a nice little run to cut the Michigan to 11. 

TSU then gets a stop and earns another trip to the free-throw line, as Weathers hits both to make it 29-20.

Hunter Dickinson stops the run with turnaround jumper. Mike Smith and Brandon Johns then get to the free-throw line on consecutive possessions, hitting four of four to give Michigan a 35-20 lead.

Media timeout: Michigan 35, Texas Southern 20 (3:42 2nd)

Zeb Jackson knocks down pair of 3's to help Michigan take huge lead

Franz Wagner hits a jump shot out of the break to extend Michigan's lead to 11, which Michael Weathers answers with a driving layup two possessions later.

Zeb Jackson knocks down a 3-pointer to push the Michigan lead back to 22-10.

A pair of Brandon Johns free throws, a layup by Hunter Dickinson and another 3 from Jackson have the Wolverines feeling good. They lead by 17.

Media timeout: Michigan 29, Texas Southern 12 (7:30 1st)

Michigan races out to early lead vs. Texas Southern

Michigan is off to a rolling start, opening up the game on a 7-0 run. Hunter Dickinson and Franz Wagner scored inside and Eli Brooks hit a 3-pointer to give the Wolverines an early lead.

Michael Weathers gets TSU on the board with buckets on back-to-back possessions, as Brooks hits a 3-pointer in between to make it 10-4, Michigan.

Karl Nicholas knocks down a jumper.

Media timeout: Michigan 10, Texas Southern 6 (15:47 1st)

Mike Smith makes a pull-up jumper out of the break. Franz Wagner hits a pair of free throws on the next possession to give Michigan a 14-6 lead.

Justin Hopkins matches that with a pair of free throws on the other end. Then it's Austin Davis for Michigan getting to the free-throw line, and he hits one of two.

John Walker went down hard while trying to go up to defend Davis, but appears to be okay.

Both teams go through a little bit of a scoring drought for the next couple of minutes, which is eventually broken up by a pair of free throws from Dickinson. 

It's 17-8, Michigan.

Media timeout: Michigan 17, Texas Southern 8 (11:44 1st)


Only one No. 1 seed — Virginia, in 2018 — has been ousted by a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

So, as it prepares to face Texas Southern on Saturday, history is on Michigan's side.

Momentum, however, isn't. The top-seeded Wolverines have lost three of their four games this season this month and enter this year's tournament without their second-leading scorer.

The Wolverines still boast highly decorated freshman center Hunter Dickinson, who leads them in scoring (14.2 points) and rebounding (7.6).

Michigan (20-4) faces a Texas Southern team (17-8) coming off a 60-52 victory over Mount St. Mary's in a First Four game and riding a 10-game winning streak.

Follow along here for live updates from Detroit News contributor Nolan Bianchi.

East Region


Tip-off: 3 p.m. Saturday, Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana

TV/radio: CBS/950

Records: Michigan 20-4, Texas Southern 17-8

Outlook: This is the first meeting between the two programs. …Entering this year’s NCAA Tournament, No. 1 seeds are 139-1 against No. 16 seeds. …Texas Southern rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Mount St. Mary's, 60-52, in Thursday's play-in game. …The Tigers have won 10 straight and 15 of their past 16 games. They rank No. 335 in the nation in 3-point shooting (28.2%) and last in made 3s per game (4.6).