Jordan Poole Hits Buzzer Beater to Advance Michigan to Sweet Sixteen

Michael Tengler, Staff Writer

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It was Saturday, March 17th. Thousands of people packed into Intrust Bank Arena to watch the six seed Houston Cougars face off against the three seed Michigan Wolverines. Houston came into the game after a last second win against San Diego State, whereas Michigan comfortably defeated Montana.


Although Michigan was the higher seed, it would be a close game, because Houston had one player that Michigan could slow down, but they wouldn’t be able to stop him. His name was Rob Gray. He had put up a staggering 39 points in Houston’s first Tournament game, including 23 of Houston’s 28 second half points, and he had the game winner. The came would be competitive, as Michigan has one of the best defenses in the country, but the Cougars are a one man show.


It was a close game throughout the first half, as Michigan and Houston continually trade small leads, with no one leading by more than six points. After the first half, the win probability for each team was at 50%.


With 11:11 remaining in the second half, there had already been 12 lead changes, with the largest lead being six points, in favor of Michigan. In the start of the second half, though, Houston started to wear the Wolverines down. Michigan was having trouble making their shots, and Houston’s win percentage climbed all the way to 81% with six minutes left to go.


24.9 seconds to go. Michigan’s down by 2. Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman drove to the basket with 9 seconds to go; he missed the layup. Michigan then had to foul Houston with 3.9 seconds to go. They would be shooting two free throws, with a chance to seal the game. Missed the first one. Making the second one would make it a three point game, forcing Michigan to shoot a three. Missed the second one. Mo Wagner grabbed the rebound, and immediately called a timeout. There was 3.6 seconds to go, and Michigan would have to go the length of the floor to score at least two points.


Isaiah Livers threw a pass to Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman. Abdur-Rahkman run up the floor, but was met by two houston defenders right outside the three point line. He quickly picked up the ball, and threw it to Jordan Poole, Michigan freshman, who would come off the bench for michigan. Poole caught it, and with barely any time remaining, he had no choice but to shoot it, with a defender in his face, and from way beyond the three point line. The ball flew in the air, everyone in the stadium holding their breath. Michigan players looking up in admiration, hoping and praying.


64-63. Jordan Poole, an under-the-radar player, had just hit one of the biggest shots for Michigan basketball, ever. Michigan, a 3 seed, would advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the 4th time out of the last 6 years. When asked about it after the game, he said he was “thirsty” for the ball in the last seconds, and now Michigan will be thirsty to get a W tonight against Texas A&M.