Recap: Michigan offense runs dry in 63-55 loss, Villanova advances to Elite 8

Nolan Bianchi
Special to The Detroit News

They couldn't score inside, they couldn't score outside, they couldn't make their free throws, and all those things in summation are the the reason that the Michigan Wolverines couldn't advance in the NCAA Tournament, as they fell 63-55 to Villanova in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night.

Michigan forward Moussa Diabate (14) defends Villanova guard Caleb Daniels in the first half.

Poor inside shooting ends Michigan's tournament 

With just over three minutes to go, Terrance Williams draws a shooting foul out of the break, sinks both, and Michigan trails by four.

Hunter Dickinson gets scored on inside, and can't finish an inside bucket on the other end. Collin Gillespie drills a 3-pointer to put Villanova back up by nine in the blink of an eye.

Villanova 59, Michigan 50 (1:49 2nd)

Dickinson misses a long 2-pointer. He gets to the line with a minute left and only makes one of two.

The Wolverines have missed five shots in a row and haven't had a field goal in 3 minutes, 16 seconds. Michigan trails by eight with 47 seconds left.

Dickinson finally hits a pair of free throws to make it a six-point game with 27 seconds left.

Villanova turns it over with 21 seconds left. Michigan still has a chance, albeit a small one.

And they miss another layup. The Wolverines are 10-for-26 on layups tonight, and that feels like the main story of this loss. Villanova gets fouled while in the penalty, and this one is likely over. The lead is 61-53 with 13 seconds left.

FINAL: Villanova 61, Michigan 55

Michigan looking for late push to salvage tournament

Hunter Dickinson re-enters the game for Michigan, and immediately scores to make it a six-point deficit once again. DeVante' Jones gets hurt on a collision during a rebound — no foul — and will have to check out.

To make matters worse for the Wolverines, Villanova keeps the ball and is fouled on a scoring play with the chance to make it a 3-point play to go up nine.

Villanova 49, Michigan 41 (7:52 2nd)

Frankie Collins scores inside to bring the deficit back to seven.

Michigan has the chance to close the gap, but is closed for a shot-clock violation. That's its fourth turnover of the half.

Villanova continues bullying the Wolverines inside, as Dixon pushes the lead back to nine.

Eli Brooks fills up a much-needed 3-pointer that makes it a 6-point game with under four minutes to go, and an offensive foul on the other end gives the ball back to Michigan — but Brooks is down.

Villanova 54, Michigan 48 (3:33 2nd)

Michigan trying to keep Villanova within reach in second half

Villanova remains hot from 3 to start the half, as Jermaine Samuels hits a shot from beyond the arc. Eli Brooks makes a layup and Moussa Diabate splits a pair of free throws to make it a 3-point game. Michigan is now 3-for-8 from the line.

Villanova gets to the free-throw line before break.

Villanova 34, Michigan 31 (15:36 2nd)

A pair of missed Hunter Dickinson layups leads to a Villanova bucket that makes it a 6-point game. On the other end, Brandon Johns misses a wide-open 3-pointer, which makes a Villanova 3-pointer to follow all the more devastating. Another missed layup for Michigan makes it 0 for its last 6 from the field, a scoreless drought that's over four minutes.

Eli Brooks snaps the drought with a 3-pointer that Michigan needed badly. 

Brooks and Justin Moore trade another pair of 3's, and we've still got a six-point game.

Villanova 43, Michigan 37 (10:41 2nd)

Hunter Dickinson sits for the first time this half, and that feels like bad news for Michigan. The Wolverines were minus-11 in the first half when Dickinson was in the bench.

Villanova is now having its way inside, taking an eight-point lead as Moussa Diabate is swatted from behind on a dunk before the break.

Villanova 47, Michigan 39 (8:32 2nd)

Michigan, Villanova head to halftime in tight game

Hunter Dickinson gets Michigan back on track with a pair of buckets in the paint, cutting the deficit to 18-15 around the midway point of the first half.

Justin Moore sinks a pair of free throws; Frankie Collins goes to the line at the other end, but he misses both. 

Both teams have a scoring drought that lasts for several minutes. Villanova's Eric Dixon draws a loose-ball foul.

Villanova 20, Michigan 15 (6:50 1st)

Brandon Johns misses a pair of free throws, now, and one would have to think that being 0-for-4 from the line is not a trend they want to keep up.

Dickinson hits a layup to break the scoring drought., which is nearing five minutes for Villanova. Villanova is 0 for its last 6 from the field.

Michigan gets a pair of buckets in a hurry, though, as DeVante' Jones nails a jumper and a 3-pointer to put Michigan up a pair.

Michigan 22, Villanova 20 (3:56 1st)

Villanova finally breaks its cold streak with a 3-point play out of the break, and then a 3-pointer on the next possession that quickly puts Villanova up by four.

Eli Brooks continues Michigan's poor shooting from the free-throw line, making one of two. 

Both teams are heating up before the half, as Terrance Williams and Collin Gillespie trade 3-pointers that make it a 5-point game. Moussa Diabate hits a layup to bring the first-half scoring to a close.

END 1ST: Villanova 31, Michigan 28 

Villanova takes early lead on Michigan

Michigan jumps out to a 7-4 lead to start the game, as Caleb Houstan has hits shot working early. He's hit a 3-pointer and a 2-point jumper.

Jermaine Samuels gives Villanova its first lead of the game with back-to-back layups; Hunter Dickinson gets back on top, but Samuels pushes his point total to six on the other end with a layup.

Villanova 10, Michigan 9 (13:58 1st)

Villanova goes on an 8-2 run out of the break behind 3-pointers from Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore to put Villanova up 7, and Juwan Howard will call timeout.

Villanova 18, Michigan 11 (10:28 1st)


The tournament has brought out the best in Hunter Dickinson, the Wolverines' leading scorer. He scored 21 points and had four blocks against Colorado State, then had 27 points and 11 rebounds against Tennessee.

Michigan center Hunter Dickinson looks on at the pregame shootaround.

Eli Brooks, who returned for his fifth season, is leading from the backcourt by averaging 19.5 points, 5.5 assists and five rebounds in the tournament.

Michigan’s defense, on the perimeter and at the rim, is an asset at times for a team making a fifth straight trip to the Sweet 16.

“I don’t think we’re playing our best basketball, like to our potential,” Brooks said after knocking off Tennessee. “We still have a lot of mistakes that we have to clean up. Turnovers, miscommunication. That’s the scary thing with this team. If we keep on staying connected, good things are going to happen down the line.”

Subscriber: Michigan vs. Villanova predictions

Subscriber: Michigan vs. Villanova scouting report

NCAA Tournament

No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 2 Villanova

Tip-off: 7:29 p.m. Thursday, AT&T Center, San Antonio

TV/radio: TBS/950

Records: Michigan 19-14, Villanova 28-7

Line: Villanova by 5

Outlook: This is the sixth all-time meeting between the teams and third encounter in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova beat Michigan, 79-62, in the 2018 national title game in San Antonio. … Villanova is riding a seven-game win streak and beat No. 7 Ohio State, 71-61, to reach its third Sweet 16 in the past four tournaments. … The winner will face either No. 1 Arizona or No. 5 Houston in the Elite Eight on Saturday.