AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Michigan made Havoc look helpless.
Now Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and the rest of the cool-headed Wolverines are part of the school’s longest NCAA tournament run in nearly two decades.
Mitch McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and fourth-seeded Michigan breezed through Virginia Commonwealth’s vaunted pressure with a clinical performance Saturday, beating the fifth-seeded Rams 78-53 to advance to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1994. VCU couldn’t create many easy baskets with its press, even though the Wolverines didn’t have much time to prepare for it.
"This is a very high-IQ team that can pick up things very quickly," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "Everybody that played in the game, even the guys that did not play, just responded beautifully in the way we want Michigan to respond in these situations."
McGary, a 6-foot-10 freshman, set season highs in scoring and rebounding. VCU had no answer for him around the basket, and that pressure defense — the Rams call it "Havoc" — wasn’t much of a factor.
VCU was relentless in a 46-point rout of Akron on Thursday night, but the Rams met their match against Michigan’s backcourt. Burke and Hardaway rarely looked rattled, and Michigan (28-7) committed only 12 turnovers.
The 71-point swing by VCU — from a 46-point win to a 25-point loss — was the largest in NCAA tournament history, according to STATS. In 1968, Houston beat Texas Christian 103-68 to reach the Final Four, then lost to UCLA 101-69 for a 67-point swing.
VCU (27-9) went 0-8 this season when forcing under 15 turnovers.
"Certainly in retrospect it wasn’t a very good matchup," Rams coach Shaka Smart said. "The credit for that goes to Michigan. I don’t think that we, for whatever reason, had great bounce today and energy. Our guys tried. They always do, but I think what Michigan was able to do to us early on and us missing some easy shots around the basket and maybe some outside looks we’d normally make, that may have contributed to our spirit not being quite where it needed to be."
McGary made his first seven shots from the field. Burke scored 18 points, and Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III added 14 each.
Juvonte Reddic scored 16 points for VCU.
Michigan heads to Arlington, Texas, to play either Kansas or North Carolina on Friday.
The Wolverines are now advancing farther in the NCAA tournament than they have since Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard were still on the team. Michigan reached the quarterfinals in 1994.
"It’s great for the program," Beilein said. "At the University of Michigan, we want to be champions, and we’re trying for Big Ten championships. And when you get in the NCAA tournament, you’re trying to do the exact same thing."
Michigan took advantage of a friendly crowd in its home state — and so did rival Michigan State. The Spartans beat Memphis in Auburn Hills immediately after the Wolverines won their game.
Michigan and Michigan State had never reached the round of 16 in the same year until now.
Burke drove toward the basket and lobbed to Robinson for an alley-oop dunk that made it 38-21. Michigan led 38-23 at the break. Burke turned the ball over five times in the first 5:51 of the second half, but even then the Rams couldn’t rally.
A dunk and a layup by McGary had VCU calling timeout with the score 49-33 — and then Michigan found a bit of a groove from beyond the arc.
Spike Albrecht made a 3-pointer and found Robinson with a slick pass for a dunk in transition. A 3-pointer by Burke made it 57-35.
Hardaway made a 3-pointer to push the lead to 23 and added an acrobatic reverse dunk to make it 64-38.
The Rams entered the day forcing an average of 19.9 turnovers per game, the most in the nation. Michigan was only committing 9.2 per game, the fewest in the nation.
WICHITA STATE 76, GONZAGA 70
SALT LAKE CITY — Gonzaga’s gone.
Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker scored 16 points apiece and Wichita State hit a season-high 14 3-pointers, including seven straight late, to knock the top-ranked and No. 1 seeded Bulldogs out of the NCAA tournament 76-70 on Saturday.
The Shockers (28-8) advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2006, while Gonzaga becomes the first top seed to be eliminated.
Gonzaga survived a scare in the second round against Southern but couldn’t hold up against a fellow mid-major from Kansas whose motto is "play angry."
The Shockers face the winner of Sunday’s game between La Salle and Ole Miss.
Wichita State had the Zags down 13 early. Though Gonzaga (32-3) fought back, the barrage of 3s was too much for the small school from Spokane, Wash.
Kelly Olynyk scored 26 points to lead Gonzaga, and Kevin Pangos had 19.
LOUISVILLE 82 COLORADO STATE 56
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Russ Smith had another big night, leading four players in double figures with 27 points, and top-seeded Louisville is into the Midwest Region semifinals.
The Cardinals put on a defensive clinic as they dismantled Colorado State. Louisville forced the eighth-seeded Rams into a season-high 20 turnovers, made Colton Iverson look as invisible as a 6-foot-10 guy can be and limited one of the nation’s best rebounding teams to 24 boards, more than a dozen below their average.
It was the 12th straight win for Louisville (31-5), which will play the winner of Saint Louis-Oregon on Friday in Indianapolis.
MICHIGAN STATE 70 MEMPHIS 48
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Gary Harris scored 16 of his career-high 23 points in the first half to help third-seeded Michigan State reach the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
Michigan State (27-8) will play the winner of the Duke-Creighton game on Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Tigers (31-5) advanced in the NCAA tournament for the first time in Josh Pastner’s four seasons. The Conference USA champions were eliminated in the third round because they struggled to stop Harris on the outside or his teammates inside all afternoon.
The Spartans’ top post players — Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix — combined for 27 points and 18 rebounds.
ARIZONA 74 HARVARD 51
SALT LAKE CITY — Arizona put an emphatic end to Harvard’s March Madness success story.
Mark Lyons matched his career high with 27 points to lead the sixth-seeded Wildcats (27-7). Arizona sprinted to a 30-9 lead, as the Crimson (20-10) missed 20 of its first 22 shots.
Lyons led Arizona to the program’s 15th appearance in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats will play Iowa State or Ohio State next week in Los Angeles.
Harvard, meanwhile, goes home with its first NCAA win in tow. The 14th-seeded Crimson beat third-seeded New Mexico on Thursday but couldn’t recreate the magic.
Kenyatta Smith led Harvard with 10 points. Freshman Siyani Chambers lost part of his front tooth after Arizona’s Kevin Parrom elbowed him in the face.
OREGON 74, SAINT LOUIS 57
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Damyean Dotson scored 23 points, Carlos Emory added 14 points and hot-shooting Oregon sprinted past fourth-seeded Saint Louis.
Dotson made his first five 3-pointers to carry the 12th-seeded Ducks (28-8) into the second weekend for the first time since 2007, when they lost to eventual repeat champion Florida in the regional final. Oregon made 8 of 11 shots from beyond the arc, while the Billikens finished 3 for 21 from long range.
Kwamain Mitchell scored 18 points and Dwayne had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Billikens (28-7), who set a school record for wins this season following the death of coach Rick Majerus in December.
MARQUETTE 74, BUTLER 72
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Vander Blue scored 19 second-half points to rally third-seeded Marquette out of another hole, and the Golden Eagles survived No. 6 Butler 74-72 on Saturday to reach the Round of 16.
Like November’s first meeting between the teams at the Maui Invitational, won 72-71 by Butler on Rotnei Clarke’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer, this was a back-and-forth, high-intensity affair, that came down to the final shot.
Only this time, Butler missed.
Marquette (25-8) will meet the winner of Sunday’s game between Illinois and Miami (Fla.) on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
Clarke’s 24 points led Butler (28-9).
Blue, the junior whose last-second layup edged Davidson on Thursday, led the Golden Eagles’ rally from a 35-27 halftime deficit and tied the game at 69 on 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining.