MI shoots the lights out to win March Madness thriller

Rachel Hardy
March 18, 2017

After a slow shooting start for both teams, Oklahoma State opened up a seven-point lead before MI went on a 10-2 run to take a 30-29 lead with 4:25 left in the first half.

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MI had a 41-40 lead at halftime, and the second half was a furious race to the finish.

Along with losing out on a conference title if they do not survive Thursday, any hopes to make the NCAA tournament likely also go out the window.

The difference: Poise and emotion, the same components that helped MI (25-11) overcome last week's harrowing plane mishap to sweep four games in four days at the Big Ten Tournament. He was the one guy for either team who didn't shoot well (10-of-26), but he got into the paint at will (23 points, 12 assists).

Michigan State did not have a good season, especially by their standards. Again Michigan was given little chance to settle into play in the second half as the Cowboys came out hot, making 8-of-9 shots to build a 59-54 lead with 14:02 remaining. On Oklahoma State's side, Evans has been equally dominate, averaging about 20 points and seven assists since mid-January.

The Cowboys only allowed five baskets inside the arc in the second half. The Wolverines hit an awesome 11-of-15 three-pointers in the second half, a sizzling 73%. Boucher was third on the team in scoring, second in rebounding and first in blocked shots, but the Ducks still had way too much firepower for the Gaels (22-13).

The 10th-seeded Cowboys finished the season with four straight losses and haven't won an NCAA game since 2009. Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman each had 16.

Oklahoma State (20-13) got 23 points from Jawun Evans and 19 from Jeffrey Carroll.

Michigan: The Wolverines certainly have momentum.

Winning the Big Ten Tournament after surviving an airplane scare was thrilling for the Wolverines. With another year of Evans they could win a lot in the NCAA. The Wolverines have never faced the Gamecocks and haven't played the Cardinal since the 1997 NIT.

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Doug Gottlieb, CBS basketball analyst and Oklahoma State alumnus, believed his alma mater would beat MI for a number of reasons. They took Route 3 to reach the second round after defeating Oklahoma State 92-91 in Indianapolis.

The Cowboys were set as a 2.5 point underdog to the Wolverines and the game opened as close as most observers expected. In the past three games, the Badgers have scored 2 goals and have let in 14.

So much for entertainment purposes only.

No. 8 Miami vs.

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

This is Michigan's 27th NCAA tournament and Head Coach John Beilein's 12th trip to the big dance. "We're worrying about (the) Big Ten".

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 7. Two years ago, not one did in the entire tournament. Which team will escape with a win?

With just under 17 minutes left in the second half, Derrick Walton limped off the court.

Walton again was the MI hero, finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds.

The emergence of Moe Wagner and D.J. Wilson are two of the biggest reasons MI is in the position they are in right now.

As good as Beilein has been, Rick Pitino has dealt him his two most hard losses. Their record slipped to 4-6 in the Big Ten, 12-7 overall. Leyton Hammonds, the athletic, versatile four-man.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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