Jordan Poole, a freshman at Michigan who 10 months ago was at his high school prom, hit one of the most memorable shots in school history to beat Houston in an ugly-but-terrific 2nd round NCAA Tournament game.
The Wolverines had no business winning this game. They were woeful in the second half offensively, had two players foul out, and were the benefits of a handful of phantom foul calls on the Cougars. Michigan trailed 49-43 after a 3-pointer by the indomitable Rob Gray (22 points), and then the whistles got … weird.
Michigan got just one basket over the next four minutes because of poor execution, and then a bizarre play happened: Charles Matthews made a 3-pointer and there was a whistle on the play. Houston was called for a foul underneath the basket, and Michigan’s Jon Teske was given two free throws. Replays showed nothing.
From down 51-46, and laboring offensively, Michigan got five points. A free throw shooting contest followed, and Michigan hung around just long enough for Houston to crack. Devin Davis, who was brilliant for the Cougars (17 points, seven rebounds), was 8-of-8 from the line until the final :40. Then, he missed three of four, including two with :04 left that would have iced the game and sent Houston to the Sweet 16.
Then, Poole hit his improbable game-winner, despite very good defense on the play.
Forty-five minutes after the game, Davis was at the foul line, shooting. It was his final college game.
If you recall, Davis started his college career at Indiana, but was accidentally struck by a jeep – driven by his teammate – one night and he suffered a head injury. David ended up transferring to Houston.