Michigan stuns Houston on Jordan Poole buzzer beater
Written by Matt Pargoff   


It was a scrappy, foul-filled game, but will be remembered as one of the most thrilling of the NCAA Tournament so far as Michigan knocked off Houston 64-63 on a long-range, three-point buzzer beater from Jordan Poole.

The Wolverines struggled to find good shot opportunities in the closing minute, while the Cougars pulled ahead on a string of free throws from Devin Davis. With Michigan trailing by two with 3.9 seconds remaining and Davis headed to the line again, it looked like the season might be over for the Maize and Blue.

Two missed free throws later, there was a glimmer of hope, and the Wolverines capitalized on a play that started with one freshman and ended with another.

Isaiah Livers heaved the ball to Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman at midcourt, who found Poole standing 30 feet from the basket. The young guard didn’t hesitate, firing the off-balanced shot at the rim, draining it as time expired.

“We work on that play thousands of times in practice,” Poole noted. “We executed it perfectly, especially from the inbound pass, getting it to our senior guard, Muhammad. He could have put the shot up easily, but he had the confidence to find me and I just knocked the shot down.”

Landing on his back, Poole said that he didn’t see the shot go in, but surmised from his teammates reaction that he had won the game.  

Poole finished with eight points, while Moritz Wagner and Abdur-Rahkman led the team, each scoring 12. Duncan Robinson and Charles Matthews both fouled out, but also reached double figures with each scoring 11.

Advancing to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the last six seasons, Michigan will face the winner of 7-seed Texas A&M and 2-seed North Carolina in Los Angeles next week. The Wolverines played North Carolina early in the season on Nov. 29 in Chapel Hill, falling 86-71. If they draw the Aggies, it will be a far less familiar feel, with two programs facing off only once before, an 82-79 Michigan win, in 1962.


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