University of Michigan basketball team falls 63-55 to Villanova

Jermaine Samuels scored 22 points and Villanova controlled Michigan and center Hunter Dickinson to earn a 63-55 Sweet 16 victory over the Wolverines on Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament.

Samuels' 8-of-13 shooting performance, much of it coming on tough drives through Michigan defenders and around Dickinson, carried a Wildcats offense that had long stretches of misfiring on 3-pointers.

The second-seeded Wildcats (28-7) advance to the South Region final to play the winner of Thursday night's matchup between top-seed Arizona (33-3) and No. 5 Houston (31-5).

Villanova twice led by nine in the second half only to see the Wolverines match their 3-point shooting in spurts and make it a contest. Guard Eli Brooks kept rescuing Michigan with 3-pointers, making 3 of 5. One of Brooks' treys, plus two free throws from Terrance Williams II, had the Wolverines within 54-50 with just over 3 minutes left.

But after Dickinson, who led the Wolverines with 15 points and 15 rebounds, missed near the basket, Samuels blew by him on the other end for a layup. Collin Gillespie followed it with a 3-pointer — his fourth of the game— from the left wing to make it 59-50 with 1:52 to play.

That was the cushion the Wildcats needed, as Michigan closed within six points before Samuels made four three throws over the final 13 seconds to put it away.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report