#7 Michigan Wolverines (26-11; 17-17 ATS; 20-12 O/U) vs. #3 Oregon Ducks (31-5; 20-15 ATS; 17-18 O/U)
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: Thursday, March, 23, 2017 at 7:09pm EST
Line: Michigan -1.5
The Michigan Wolverines will battle the Oregon Ducks for a spot in the Elite Eight Thursday night from the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The Wolverines defeated Oklahoma State followed by a huge win over Louisville to reach the Sweet 16, and the Ducks beat Iona and Rhode Island in their path to the final 16. These teams last met back in 2014 with Michigan winning by a 70-63 score.
Wagner Shines as Wolverines Take Down Louisville
The Michigan Wolverines were nearly flawless in the second half in their 73-69 comeback win over Louisville on Sunday afternoon. The Wolverines were down nine points with over 16 minutes remaining and went on a 17-6 run to get themselves back into the game. Moritz Wagner was phenomenal, collecting 26 points on a terrific 11 for 14 mark from the field. The 6-foot-11 forward only scored six points in the Tournament opener, however if he can have a strong outing again in this one the Wolverines have a solid chance. Wagner is now averaging 12.2 points per game. Wolverines leading scorer Derrick Walton Jr. was not at his best, going 3 for 13 from the field for ten points. The senior guard had scored 22 or more points in three straight games prior to his ten-point effort, and is now averaging 15.4 points per game on the season. Michigan will be facing an Oregon team that has very similar numbers defensively to Louisville, however the Ducks are the stronger offensive team. Michigan has now won seven consecutive games overall which included a win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Final, followed by a 92-91 over Oklahoma State in the First Round. The Wolverines are ranked 20th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings.
Michigan is now scoring an average of 75.2 points per game, ranking them 123rd overall, and are shooting 48.4% from the field. The Wolverines play strong defense, conceding an average of 66.3 points per game, placing them 45th overall.
Ducks Outlast Rams in Thrilling Second Round Win
The Oregon Ducks trailed most of the second half but used a 15-6 run to end the game in their thrilling 75-72 win over a pesky Rhode Island team in the Second Round. Tyler Dorsey stepped up in a big way, sinking 26 points on 9 for 10 shooting, and made three steals. The sophomore guard has scored 21 or more points in five straight games, and is now averaging 14 points per game. Ducks star player Dillon Brooks also played a solid game, going 7 for 20 from the field for 19 points and brought down five huge offensive rebounds. The junior forward has now scored at least 18 points in 12 out of his last 14 games, increasing his season average to 16.4 points per game. The Ducks who are playing without Chris Boucher (11.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG), still managed to out-rebound the Rams 35-28. Oregon has now won 10 out of their last 11 games overall with the lone loss in that span coming to Arizona in the PAC 12 Final. They are ranked 15th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings.
The Ducks feature a potent offense that is now averaging 79.4 points per game, ranking them 44th in the Country, and are shooting 48.4% as a team. The Ducks also play tough defense, allowing an average of 65.6 points per game, ranking them 36th overall.
The Michigan Wolverines are:
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the PAC 12.
The Oregon Ducks are:
- 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games as an underdog between 0.5 and 6.5 points.
- 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games overall.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games as an underdog.
I am taking Oregon in this one. Oregon owns the higher-scoring offense and they play the better defense in my opinion. The Ducks are holding opponents to 40.5% shooting compared to the Wolverines who are allowing opponents to shoot 46.5% from the field, so I feel Oregon has the better chance to have offensive success. Michigan also gives up too many three’s for my liking as opponents are shooting 37.5% from three-point range against Michigan which ranks them below 300th in the Country, and the Ducks are dangerous from deep. I know Michigan just beat Louisville, however the Ducks beat a strong Rhode Island team that plays even stronger defense than Michigan, and the Ducks are a stronger shooting team than Louisville. I also feel Oregon has a game-breaker in Dillon Brooks so I am confident taking the Ducks in this one