Published: Thu, March 30, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

OR made MI just ordinary enough to end the Wolverines' dream March

OR made MI just ordinary enough to end the Wolverines' dream March

Tyler Dorsey's teammates call him "Mr. March". "Jordan (Bell) got so many big rebounds down the stretch, and that helped us".

Michigan's best player, Derrick Walton Jr.

MI had the ball and a chance to win the game, but first OR coach Dana Altman yelled out instructions to Ennis, who was guarding Derrick Walton Jr.

For Oregon, this is its second straight trip to the Elite Eight, but the Ducks are hoping to advance one step further, playing on Saturday night.

Kansas 98, Purdue 66 - Frank Mason III and Devonte' Graham each had 26 points, and the top-seeded Jayhawks turned on the jets in the second half to blow out the fourth-seeded Boilermakers in Kansas City.

"I watched one of Michigan's games in the Big Ten tournament and wow", Altman said.

"Our guys have had quite a wild ride here in the last six weeks", MI coach John Beilein said - and he was talking basketball, not aborted air travel. "They were becoming a great team before the story". KenPom similarly likes OR by about three-quarters of a point per 100 possessions. The Wolverines have one of the NCAA's best offenses, and the final score could go well past the betting total of 147.5 points.

After skating past No. 14 Iona in the first round, 93-77, No. 3 OR was given a run for its money by No. 11 Rhode Island but somehow survived with a 75-72 win. The Ducks' Tyler Dorsey scored on a scoop shot with 1:00 remaining to give his team the winning margin. But he went a combined 29-36 the past two seasons, 14-18 this season. "I nearly tear up just thinking about it". A similar circumstance may have been said about the Oregon Ducks after a last second Michigan Three Pointer missed in their respective Sweet 16 matchup. Pac-12 player of the year Dillon Brooks added 12 points and Dylan Ennis had 10.

In a game that featured 51 fouls and only 34 made baskets, Mathews delivered the big shot that sent Gonzaga to its third Elite Eight in school history. Everybody, Beilein included, wanted the ball in the hands of Walton, the senior alpha dog who had averaged 17.6 points, 7.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game during Michigan's recent 12-2 run entering the game.

Coming out of the break, OR began to turn its first half weakness into a second half strength. He was averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game before getting injured. Third-seeded Oregon's speed and defensive intensity disrupted the Wolverines offense, often limiting MI to poor, long-range shots. But the shot came up short and OR snatched the rebound to secure the victory.

The Wolverines shot 35.5 percent from 3-point land and 43.1 percent overall. The strategy allowed the Ducks to take MI out of its rhythm.

Michigan Wolverines guard Zak Irvin (21) celebrates with forward D.J. Wilson (5) after defeating the Louisville Cardinals in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Limiting the free points for Kansas will go a long way, but the Ducks also have to win the battle on the boards.

Wagner and Wilson are two of Michigan's most talented players and both have National Basketball Association futures, but those futures appeared to be a year or two down the road given their inconsistent play this season.

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