Oregon vs. Michigan prediction and game preview, as the No. 3 Ducks and No. 7 Wolverines face off in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
After having quite a scare in the Big Ten tournament, the Michigan Wolverines have paved a path to the Sweet 16 after picking up wins in the first two rounds. The No. 7-seeded Wolverines were first matched up with Oklahoma State and took down the Cowboys, 92-91. After that, Michigan eliminated No. 2 Louisville, 73-69.
Now, it will go up against No. 3-seeded Oregon. In the first round of the tournament, the Ducks took care of No. 14 Iona, 93-77. However, in the second round, they were put to the test. No. 11 Rhode Island gave Oregon all it could handle, but a late surge in the second half, some clutch offensive rebounds and big-time threes gave the Ducks a 75-72 win.
Oregon vs. Michigan Game Preview
Date: March 23, 2017
Venue: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO.
Oregon wins if …
The shooters shoot. It’s plain and simple. The Ducks have playmakers in their backcourt, and they have to put the ball in their hands when the game is on the line and on key possessions. Tyler Dorsey shot 9-of-10 from the floor and was 4-of-5 from three for 27 points. Dillon Brooks added 19 points on 7-of-20 shooting, and he was 2-of-6 from beyond the arc. If Brooks is more efficient and Dorsey keeps it up, Oregon will be in great shape.
However, it will have to defend the perimeter like it did against Rhode Island, who shot only 27.3 percent from three (6-of-22). On top of that, the Ducks have to crash the offensive glass the same way. They compiled 15 offensive boards and 35 total rebounds against the Rams. If Oregon gets second-chance looks and knocks them down, it will win.
Michigan wins if …
The Wolverines protect the basketball and lock down the perimeter. Michigan won the turnover battle against Louisville, forcing 11 turnovers while surrendering only six of its own. It also held the Cardinals to only 5-of-20 shooting from behind the arc (25 percent) while knocking down 6-of-17 of their own three-point looks.
If Moritz Wagner can be as efficient from the floor as he was against Louisville, the Wolverines will be in great shape. Wagner was 11-of-14 from the field for 26 points. And if Derrick Walton Jr. can continue to create open looks but can somehow find his own shot, it will go far. Walton dropped six assists but was only 3-of-13 shooting against Louisville.
Oregon vs. Michigan Prediction
This one is going to be intense. So, buckle up. Michigan has looked like a team of destiny since its plane incident. It has looked inspired throughout the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA Tournament. But the Wolverines’ run won’t come to an end against the Ducks. Dorsey will keep his hot hand, and Brooks will deliver some clutch threes. However, Walton will come up with some big buckets as well. As the lead gets exchanged back and forth throughout the second half, Michigan will pull away in the closing moments to advance to the Elite Eight.
Oregon vs. Michigan Score Prediction: Michigan 85, Oregon 81