Bye, Michigan - time for new lovable underdogs Xavier, SC

  • Bye, Michigan - time for new lovable underdogs Xavier, SC

Bye, Michigan - time for new lovable underdogs Xavier, SC

But with the Wolverines in another Sweet 16, Michigan's football team isn't the only one that's being hailed. "He's playing his best basketball, and it's coming at the right time".

But it bounced off, the game ended and Michigan's impressive NCAA postseason run was over, losing to No. 3 seed OR, 69-68 in the Midwest Regional at the Sprint Center on Thursday night. They shot 39.3 percent against the Ducks and didn't seem to have the same special formula that lifted them last week. In fact, this may have been the sloppiest first half of basketball all season for the Wolverines. Kansas used two big runs, including an 11-0 charge highlighted by Lagerald Vicks's 360-degree drunk, to coast into the Elite Eight.

The opportunity is there for OR to finally take that next step as a program and make it to college basketball's final weekend.

After Daxter Miles Jr. missed two fouls shots and Nathan Adrian was blocked by Josh Perkins on the putback, Williams-Goss found Mathews in the corner for the open 3-pointer that proved the game-winner. The Ducks haven't made MI pay from the charity stripe, going just 8-for-13 from the free throw line.

Now, they'll look to get past the No. 3 seed Oregon.

Down the stretch, MI has made six consecutive field goal attempts, the last coming on a Derrick Walton Jr. pull-up jumper. An Ennis layup with seven seconds left gave OR a 35-33 lead at the break.

OR held MI scoreless in the final 2:02. But he missed 6 of his first 7 shots against the Ducks and finished with 7 points after going 3 for 10.

"When I let it go, I thought it was good", Walton said, shaking his head.

OR won't be easy to beat, but it's hard to pick against MI with the way the likes of Derrick Walton Jr., D.J. Wilson and Zak Irvin are now playing.

MI has been the darlings of the dance to this point in the tournament. Walton's step-back jumper made it 68-65 Wolverines, forcing a Ducks timeout at 1:54. West Virginia (29-8) had three shots to tie the game but Tarik Phillip missed a shot from the lane and Jevon Carter missed two 3-pointers after Silas Melson made one foul shot.

That's when Walton took over.

The Ducks had possession and a one-point lead when D.J. Wilson threw up a badly missed 3-point attempt. Further, it would advance after a missed Walton shot of which Dorsey himself said, "We're fortunate the shot didn't go in, but you just make plays and give it your all".

The game went back and forth, with neither team grabbing more than a six-point lead. The Ducks are also just one of five teams in the field to have won a game in the last five NCAA Tournaments, alongside Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina and Wichita State.

Notwithstanding that the school won a national title in 1939, this is the golden era of OR basketball, and now the Ducks have a chance to make it to the Final Four for the second time ever.

Regardless, what a run it was for the Wolverines. Several players expressed their confidence in Walton after the game, and how he'd carried them so far, and how they were so appreciative of his leadership over the course of the season, and how it nearly seemed unfair it didn't go in.

With that said, thank you to the seniors who made this season so insane to watch.

Asked afterward if MI should've won, John Beilein countered: "We could've won". It was truly a fun end to the season.