Michigan basketball Fans won’t need to stock up on caffeine as Wolverines face Villanova in the early game in the Southern District on TBS Thursday night.
The game between the Wolverines and the Wildcats will kick off at 7:15 p.m. from San Antonio, Texas. Perhaps UM fans should brace themselves against flashbacks at the last NCAA game between the two schools.
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Michigan and Villanova have faced each other five times, and UM was going 2-3. The Wolverines’ win came twice during the regular season in December 1970 and November 2018, however. In the post-season, it was all about the Wildcats, as Nova defeated the #1 ranked Wolverines at the 1985 NCAA Championships and over Michigan at the 2018 National Championships.
In it, the Wildcats prevailed behind 31 points off the bench from Donte DiVicenzo. UM was led by Muhammad Ali Abdul Rahman with 23 points. Interestingly, two of the team’s current stars played in that match. Eli Brooks is the only Wolverine from this team who is still with Michigan. He went goalless with a rebound in three minutes. For Vilanova, star Colin Gillespie earned four points – all from the free throw line, on four attempts – five rebounds, an assist and a steal in 16 minutes. (Current Nova players Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree also played four minutes with the Wildcats in the 2018 title game, while Jermaine Samuels was on the roster, but he didn’t play against the Wolverines.)
The championship win was at the Alamodome in San Antonio; Now it’s the center of AT&T, it will host the last game between the two, with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line.
Across the Southern District, number one, ninth or fifth seed Arizona will be Houston playing for the other place in the Elite Eight. Most recently, the Wolverines lost to Arizona in Las Vegas in November 2021 and beat Houston in 2018 on the way to the Final Four.
Here’s the rest of the regional semi-finals schedule for Thursday and Friday:
7 p.m. Thursday: West – No. 1 Gonzaga opposite No. 4 Arkansas, CBS.
9:30 pm Thursday: West – No. 2 Duke vs. No. 3 Texas Tech, CBS.
9:45 pm Thursday: South – No. 5 Houston vs. No. 1 Arizona, TBS.
7 pm on Friday: East – No. 15 St. Peter’s opposite No. 3 Bordeaux, CBS.
7:15 pm on Friday: Midwest – No. 1 KS vs. No. 4 Providence, TBS.
9:30 pm on Friday: East – No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 8 North Carolina, CBS.
9:45 p.m. Friday: Midwest – No. 10 Miami (Florida) vs. No. 11 Iowa, TBS.