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Michigan makes its first Final Four in 20 years

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Maize and blowout.

Michigan will be going to its first Final Four in 20 years (that one was vacated) because the No. 4 Wolverines took out third-seeded Florida 79-59 at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. The loss marks the third consecutive season in which the Gators failed to break through to college basketball's final weekend by losing in the Elite Eight.

The outcome marked just the second time that Florida allowed more than 70 points this season.

It wasn't that great of a game -- well, for Florida. Michigan looked good, looked like it has looked this entire tournament. There is no argument against the Wolverines' effort, style, ability and credibility for a trip to Atlanta.

John Beilein is coaching in the Final Four for the first time because his team's flair and attitude was evident from the start. A 13-0 run at the game's start grew to a 41-17 lead late in the first half. Michigan had the big gap in lead to cruise for the final 20 minutes.

Florida didn't have the body language from the opening tip. That was evident to those in the stadium and pretty much anyone watching on TV. I found myself longing for Dunk City's basketball team to be the ones emerging from the tunnel after the half.

The Wolverines were led by freshman Nik Stauskas' game-high 22 points, which came off six 3-pointers, all from the corner. He was sanding down caddy-cornered angles all afternoon long. UM sophomore point guard Trey Burke was named the region's MOP and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Erik Murphy was 0-for-11 for Florida. The Gators were led by senior Kenny Boynton's 13, as well as Will Yeguete's 13 from off the bench.

This was the second meeting in the NCAA tournament for these teams, Michigan also beat UF in the second round in 1988, 108-85. This is also the third 30-win year in school history for the Wolverines.

Stay tuned for more coverage and reaction from Dallas.

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2015 NCAA Tournament
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