Recap: Michigan earns trip to Sweet 16 with 86-78 win vs. LSU

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

Game summary

Michigan weathered the storm of LSU's high-flying offense at the start of each half and got huge buckets from Chaundee Brown and Franz Wagner down the stretch to escape with an 86-78 win and advance to the Sweet 16.

Brown scored a season-high 21, Eli Brooks had 21 and seven assists, Wagner 15 and seven rebounds, and Hunter Dickinson 12 and 11 for Michigan (22-4).

Brooks kept the team on track with timely 3-pointers when LSU tried to pull away and finished 5-for-9 from deep. He left the game with an apparent injury in the second half, but returned to pull down Michigan's two biggest rebounds of the game and close things out with a pair of free throws.

Michigan closes out LSU in back-and-forth matchup, gets to Sweet 16

Austin Davis makes a free throw out of the break to make it 80-79, Michigan.

Aundre Hyatt steals on the next Michigan possession and dunks on his way to the hoop to cut the lead to 8. Mike Smith gets trapped while bringing the ball up and is forced to call a timeout.

Timeout Michigan: Michigan 80, LSU 72 (2:24 2nd)

This time Michigan breaks the press, and Hunter Dickinson gets the ball to a streaking Franz Wagner for a (George Blaha voice) dynamite dunk to put the Wolverines up 10 once again.

Javonte Smart hits two free throws, which Wagner answers with another basket inside at the other end. 1:34 to go in this one.

Cam Thomas pulls down a rebound and gets fouled, making both free throws. He then capitalizes on a Mike Smith airball and drives for a layup at the other end to cut the lead to 6 with 44 seconds left.

Timeout LSU: Michigan 84, LSU 78 (0:44 2nd)

Smith travels after receiving the in-bound pass, but Michigan prevents a score with some tough defense inside. Eli Brooks is fouled after pulling down the rebound and will go to the line; pushing the lead to three possessions here would be huge.

Brooks makes both. It's an 8-point game. The Tigers miss a 3-pointer, and Brooks pulls down that rebound too.

This one is over, folks.

FINAL: Michigan 86, LSU 78 

Michigan building lead on LSU as finish line nears

Chaundee Brown goes to the free-throw line after the commercial break and makes both. His shooting at the line has been a real difference-maker in the last few minutes, as the Wolverines lead 69-64.

Mike Smith finds Brown on the Wolverines' next possession, and he drills a 3-pointer. Brown has a season-high 21 points.

Javonte Smart answers with a bucket inside before Hunter Dickinson draws a foul on Darius Days at the other end, making both free throws to put Michigan up by 8 with just over five minutes to go. That makes it a 16-3 run for the Wolverines.

Things might be starting to turn once again: Javonte Smart hits a pull-up jumper and LSU gets Dickinson to pick up his fourth personal foul at the other end.

Cam Thomas turns it over with an offensive foul, leading to a nice hookshot by Franz Wagner to put Michigan up, 76-68.

Josh Leblanc hits a pair of free throws to draw within 6, but Wagner answers at the other end with a huge 3-pointer, his biggest bucket of the game.

Media timeout: Michigan 79, LSU 70 (3:27 2nd)

Michigan swings momentum with run of its own

Michigan stops the bleeding with an Eli Brooks 3 out of the break, tying the game at 58.

Javonte Smart and Cam Thomas score on the next two possessions to make it a 12-3 run for LSU, and Juwan Howard will call timeout.

Michigan timeout: LSU 63, Michigan 58 (10:46 2nd)

Chaundee Brown drives and earns a pair of free throws, making both, with a foul on Darius Days. Brown drives again on the next drive, gets the same result. That's four straight points for Brown as the lead is cut to 63-62.

Eli Brooks dishes to Hunter Dickinson inside, and he gets the bucket inside to regain the lead for Michigan, 64-63. Brown drills a 3-pointer to put Michigan on a 9-0 run and give the Wolverines a 67-63 lead. 

Hope you didn't blink!

LSU timeout: Michigan 67, LSU 63 (8:36 2nd)

Brandon Johns is called for his second foul inside, and again the Wolverines don't like it. Trendon Watford makes 1 of 2, and it's a 67-64 game, Michigan leads.

Media timeout: Michigan 67, LSU 64 (7:37 2nd)

Michigan, LSU ramping up for instant classic with trip to Sweet 16 on the line

Mike Smith hits a big-time 3-pointer out of the break to snap an 8-0 run for the LSU Tigers, which Eli Brooks promptly matches on the next possession to tie the game for Michigan at 51.

Brandon Johns is called for a phantom foul at the other end, putting LSU in the bonus with just over 14 to play. Trendon Watford misses both free throws, though, and we're still tied.

Johns then draws a foul on the offensive side and hits both to make it 53-51, Michigan. This game is wild.

Chaundee Brown gets a nice pass from Smith to put Michigan up 4 with a dunk, a lead that Cam Thomas and Javonte Smart quickly erase with buckets on consecutive possessions. Smart then launches a 3-pointer, and LSU is up 3. 

Media timeout: LSU 58, Michigan 55 (11:53 2nd)

LSU punches Michigan in the mouth to open second half

Michigan sends Trendon Watford to the free-throw line on the first possession of the second half. He makes one of two to tie the game at 43.

Hunter Dickinson cuts and scores off an in-bound to regain the lead for Michigan. Watford gets more free throws, again making one of two to make it 45-44, Michigan, before Javonte Smart drives, scores, and converts the 3-point play with an and-1 layup.

LSU has a 2-point lead, as Michigan has four fouls just 2:14 into the half.

Javonte Smart scores off a Franz Wagner turnover, and on the next possession, Wagner fouls Cameron Thomas on his way to the hoop. Thomas hits both free throws, and the Tigers lead, 51-45. 

Wagner subs out after taking his third personal foul. LSU is on an 8-0 run.

Media timeout: LSU 51, Michigan 45 (15:42 2nd)

Michigan claws back, takes 1-point lead before halftime

Both teams come out of the break cold, and eventaully, Michigan gets to the free-throw line when Brandon Johns gets fouled inside. He can tie it here, but does not. He makes one of two.

Johns makes his presence felt on the other end with a huge block on Cam Thomas inside. Mike Smith throws a dime to Chaundee Brown in the corner, but his 3 to take the lead rims out.

Brown is called for a foul after the missed shot, then fouls on the other end. He'll take a breather.

Franz Wagner goes to the rim and is fouled, then makes one of two at the line to tie the game at 40.

Michigan cranks up the heat on defense and has a really good sequence inside before Wagner gets fouled while trying to pull down a rebound.

Wagner gives Michigan a 42-40 lead by making both free throws.

Days misses a one-handed runner and now it's Dickinson getting fouled while crashing the boards. He makes the front end of a one-and-one to give the Wolverines their largest lead of the game.

Thomas hits a step-back jumper to close the half, but the Wolverines still lead by 1.

HALFTIME: Michigan 43, LSU 42

Michigan closing in on LSU as halftime nears

Darius Days makes a free throw out of the break to finish the 3-point play, and LSU has its largest lead of the game at 30-21.

Chaundee Brown answers with a 3-pointer and Hunter Dickinson converts a 3-point play on the next possession to trim the lead to 30-27 in a hurry. The foul on Dickinson gave Days his second, and he'll head out of the game.

Trendon Watford and Terrance Williams trade 2-pointers to make it 32-29, LSU.

Javonte Smart gets fouled and makes both free throws. Williams loses the ball at midcourt on the next possession and Thomas scores on the fast break to make it a 7-point game.

Williams makes up for his turnover with a second-chance layup on the other end. Eli Brooks then banks in a 3-pointer to make it a 2-point game, Michigan's smallest deficit since it was 4-2.

Franz Wagner hits a layup, then Watford hits a jumper, then Brooks drives for a layup, and my fingers can barely keep up. 

Luckily, the NCAA has to get paid. They'll head to commercial break while I hit an oxygen machine. Be back in 2!

Media timeout: LSU 40, Michigan 38 (3:22 1st)

Poor shooting, transition 'D' leads to Michigan deficit vs. LSU

Franz Wagner clunks a 3-pointer out of the break. Michigan is shooting 14-percent from deep thus far, compared to a 43-percent mark from the Tigers.

That's a major storyline to watch as this one continues.

Javonte Smart and Eli Brooks trade buckets before Smart drills a 3-pointer to make it 24-16, LSU. Michigan's transition defense has left a lot to be desired.

Mike Smith passes up an open 3 to fit in one more pass before the shot-clock expires, but the horn goes off while Chaundee Brown goes up for the shot. He wasn't really even close to getting the shot off.

Michigan gets a stop, leading to a Brooks 3 in transition. He's got eight points and has been one of the few bright spots for Michigan so far. 

Brown fouls Thomas on a 3-pointer, and the freshman guard makes all three. Thomas has 15 as we near the eight-minute mark.

Brown scores inside to cut the LSU lead to 6, but Darius Days quickly pushes it back to 8 on the next possession.

Media timeout: LSU 29, Michigan 21 (7:26 1st)

Howard, Michigan trying to sort out early miscues

Franz Wagner goes to the line and makes one of two out of the break. It's 13-7, LSU.

Thomas scores again; he's got 10 in a row for LSU. Eli Brooks hits a 3 and Mike Smith adds a layup moments later to cut the LSU lead to 15-12.

LSU answers with another Thomas jumper and a layup from Watford.

Juwan Howard is not happy with the defensive effort from his team. He'll call timeout as the Wolverines look to sort things out.

Michigan timeout: LSU 19, Michigan 12 (12:13 1st)

Michigan subs in Chaundee Brown to see if it can match the energy of the Wolverines, and it appears to be beneficial: Brown scores out of the break to cut the LSU lead to 5.

Media timeout: LSU 19, Michigan 14 (11:23 1st)

Michigan off to rocky start vs. LSU

Brandon Johns hits a jumpshot on the opening possession to get Michigan on the board.

LSU takes over from there, scoring eight straight while the Wolverines struggle to get off good looks. It's 8-2, LSU.

Johns resets the momentum for the Wolverines with a nice drive and uncontested dunk to make it 8-4.

Cam Thomas and Hunter Dickinson trade jumpers, as we've reached the freshman orientation portion of this second-round matchup.

Thomas drills a 3-pointer to put LSU up 13-6, and the standout freshman guard already has eight points.

Media timeout: LSU 13, Michigan 6 (15:24 1st)


Michigan is one step away from getting back to a familiar place.

Top-seeded Michigan (21-4) faces No 8 seed LSU (19-9) on Monday night, with a berth in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 on the line.

Brandon Johns Jr. and Michigan square off against LSU on Monday night.

The tournament was scrapped last season because of the pandemic, but the Wolverines reached at least the regional semifinal in three straight seasons before that, including a national title game appearance in 2018.

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

East Region

No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 8 LSU

Tip-off: 7:10 p.m. Monday, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

TV/radio: CBS/950

Records: Michigan 21-4, LSU 19-9

Outlook: This is the fourth meeting between the teams and first time the programs have faced each other in the NCAA Tournament. … LSU has won five of its past six games, with the loss coming by one point to Alabama in the SEC tournament championship game. … The Tigers rank ninth in the nation in scoring offense (81.9 points) and 276th in scoring defense (74.8 points).