Michigan’s magical March is coming to a close, bowing out in the Sweet 16 to 2-seed Villanova.

After back-to-back upsets and strong performances to open the NCAA Tournament, the Wolverines ran into a Wildcats team that put on a tough defensive showing. Hunter Dickinson – the catalyst of Michigan’s first 2 wins – was held below 20 points while the Wolverines struggled to find their range from the field.

Dickinson still managed to lead Michigan with 15 points and 15 rebounds, but he finished 6-for-16 from the field and failed to make a 3-point field goal. Eli Brooks chipped in 14 points but also struggled with efficiency while shooting 5-for-14 from the floor.

As a team, the Wolverines shot 35% from the floor and 6-for-18 from 3-point range. Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate combined to shoot 5-for-13 from the floor and Michigan’s bench only contributed 7 points. After averaging 75 points in their first two wins, the Wolverines fell 20 points shy of that mark in the loss to the Wildcats.

Defensively, Michigan did hold Villanova to a 37.3% shooting effort but struggled in other areas. The smaller Wildcats were able to grab 10 offensive rebounds and prolong a number of possessions in the second half.

Jermaine Samuels led the Wildcats and all scorers with 22 points while Justin Moore added 15 for the Wildcats. Collin Gillespie had 12 points, including a dagger 3-pointer with 1:53 remaining. That bucket made it a 59-50 lead before Villanova was able to ice away a 63-55 win.

While getting to the Sweet 16 is a nice accomplishment after sweating out the wait on Selection Sunday, there were not a lot of positive takeaways from the loss. Now, the Wolverines will regroup and reload this offseason for 2022-23.