March Madness: Michigan hits buzzer-beater to beat Houston

By Alex Butler  |  Updated March 18, 2018 at 1:37 AM
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March 18 (UPI) -- Michigan freshman Jordan Poole hit a buzzer-beater 3-pointer, beating Houston 64-63 Saturday in the second round of the 2018 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Wolverines freshman forward Isaiah Livers stood on the baseline with just 3.6 seconds on the clock and the Cougars leading 63-61 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.

Livers threw a fastball to Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rakhman, who dribbled before finding Poole standing to his right, behind the 3-point line. Poole took one look at the rim before throwing up a deep prayer. He drained the highly-contested shot, putting the Wolverines in the Sweet 16.

"After the shot went in," Poole told reporters after the game. "I kinda didn't know it went in. I looked at the bench and saw everybody celebrating and I was always thinking that if I hit a shot like that, I didn't want to get tackled. So I was kinda trying to avoid everybody. But I gave up. They tackled me and it was an amazing experience."

The play came after Devin Davis missed two foul shots with 3.6 second remaining for the Cougars. Michigan called timeout after that sequence, setting up Poole's shot.

Poole finished the night with eight points. Abdur-Rakhman and Moritz Wagner led the Wolverines with 12 points apiece. Rob Gray scored a game-high 23 points for the No. 8 Cougars.

Michigan's led by as many as six points in the first half, while Houston led by five points in the second half. Houston shot 37 percent from the floor, while Michigan shot 35.6 percent from the floor.

The game included 17 lead changes and was tied 28-28 at halftime.

The No. 3 Wolverines face No. 2 North Carolina or No. 7 Texas A&M on Thursday in the Sweet 16 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"Credit Houston," Michigan coach John Beilein said after the game. "They were tremendous defensively. They kept giving us different looks and it really just so blessed to feel that we can come out of here with a W and just keep our season going."

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