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Published: Sat, April 01, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

March Madness Resumes With Oregon And Michigan Set For Sweet 16 Showdown

March Madness Resumes With Oregon And Michigan Set For Sweet 16 Showdown

With seconds remaining, he had a chance to continue those heroics, but his three-point attempt hit the front of the rim, bounced away and the Wolverines' season came to a crashing 69-68 end. They stood on the perimeter to watch Walton go to work. Reserve guard Casey Benson is a catch-and-shoot player who isn't a major scoring threat, but is capable of knocking down open looks.

As sad as it was to watch the season come to an end, it wouldn't be appropriate to wrap this up without giving due praise to Walton and Irvin, who pretty much single-handedly kept MI in the game in the second half-and then eventually gave the Wolverines the lead. The Wolverines are now 3-for-5 from beyond the arc after Derrick Walton Jr. was able to knock one down, but they'll need to pick up the effort on the defensive side of the ball because OR isn't going to miss these open looks all night long. They produced a pockmarked box score with Moritz Wagner and Muhammad Ali-Abdur-Rahkman finishing below their normal production. Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey are excellent players, and there is good balance. They were big reasons the Wolverines were in the game and advanced to such a high point. He has scored at least 21 points in five straight and is averaging 25.5 points and 5 rebounds per game in the NCAA Tournament. And Jordan Bell was a monster on the glass with 13 boards. "I looked in his eyes, and I said 'Okay, he's going to get a good shot out of this.' And he got a great shot out of it". Defensively, Michigan basketball is yielding 66.6 points per game against the opposing teams.

OR and MI both had their doubters this season, and with good reason.

OR held MI scoreless in the final 2:02 to edge the Wolverines 69-68 in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region semifinals on Thursday at Sprint Center. And while MI enters on a seven-game win streak and wins in 12 of its past 14 games, OR has been equally impressive by winning 10 of its last 11. "Nobody plays harder than Brooks, the Pac-12 Player of the Year". The mean difference in expected points, according to Massey, is less than half a point (in Oregon's favor).

OR lost star center Chris Boucher to a season-ending injury in the Pac-12 Conference tournament, which has forced OR to play small. "There is no substitute for a great sports story, and Michigan's the best one of 2017 so far".

Walton had another fantastic game on Thursday night. During this win streak, Walton is averaging 19.4 points and 8.3 assists per game while totaling just 13 turnovers. Sunday's win gave the Ducks their record-tying 31st victory of the season. On Michigan's first eight baskets, Walton hit two threes and assisted on the other six. "We executed it perfectly", Bell said. We've all been cheering them on. "Obviously it has changed a lot, but we all know that it's not about that". Ducks forward Jordan Bell had a strong defensive game, working against Michigan's D.J.

With 8:15 remaining and MI trailing by five, the 6-foot-10 redshirt sophomore missed a wide open layup - turning an easy conversion into a soft floater that caromed off the rim. The Wolverines won the most recent meeting 70-63 in a Thanksgiving tournament in 2014. Having gone 18 for 23 in the first two NCAA tournament games, he started Thursday at 1 for 5 before heating up.

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