No. 1 Michigan beats Texas Southern, moves on to play No. 8 LSU in second round of NCAA Tournament

Wolverines beat No. 16 seed by final score of 82-66

Mike Smith #12 of the Michigan Wolverines shoots against Quinton Brigham #33 of the Texas Southern Tigers during the first half in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Mackey Arena on March 20, 2021 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (2021 Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – No. 1 seed Michigan basketball defeated No. 16 seed Texas Southern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and will play No. 8 LSU on Monday.

A day after two of the Big Ten’s top teams were upset in stunning fashion -- No. 2 Ohio State to No. 15 Oral Roberts and No. 4 Purdue to No. 13 North Texas -- Michigan didn’t leave any doubt from the tip.

The Wolverines scored the first seven points of the game and never let Texas Southern back within a possession. The lead sat at 18 points by halftime and quickly swelled over 20 early in the second half.

Michigan didn’t play well over the final 15 minutes, but it was able to keep the Tigers at arm’s length, answering every run with timely baskets or free throws. The Tigers never got back within single digits.

Without Isaiah Livers, Michigan got an early lift from freshman guard Zeb Jackson, who came in and drilled a pair of three-pointers. Freshman forward Terrance Williams also played well, especially on the defensive end.

In a t-shirt and walking boot, Isaiah Livers #2 of the Michigan Wolverines looks on prior to the game against the Texas Southern Tigers in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Mackey Arena on March 20, 2021 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (2021 Getty Images)

As he did in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, Brandon Johns started for Livers and gave Michigan strong minutes. He scored 11 points while chipping in two rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.

Mike Smith led Michigan with 18 points. He had four rebounds and five assists.

Hunter Dickinson had 16 points and also chipped in three blocks and two rebounds. He had six turnovers, however.

Franz Wagner only scored nine points, but he was excellent on defense and led the Wolverines with six assists and nine rebounds. Eli Brooks was right behind him with five assists and six rebounds, along with 11 points.

Zeb Jackson #3 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts during the first half against the Texas Southern Tigers in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Mackey Arena on March 20, 2021 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (2021 Getty Images)

Michael Weathers scored 24 points for Texas Southern on 8-for-18 shooting. The Tigers made the final score look much closer by cashing in on 19 of 22 free throw attempts.

Michigan has a difficult test ahead Monday. LSU cruised back No. 9 St. Bonaventure, 76-61, and has four prolific scoring options.


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