Not even the team plane running off the airport runway could stop the Michigan Wolverines in March.
Outside of a last-second shocking loss to Northwestern, the Wolverines haven’t lost a game and have won nine of their last 10 games. They seem to continue to be gaining momentum — if that’s possible at this point — right when championship-caliber teams want to be surging. They find themselves in yet another Sweet 16 game, and this one will be no easy task.
The No. 7 Wolverines will play No. 3 Oregon in a Sweet 16 game March 23.
The Ducks have been rolling, too. They’ve won 10 of their last 11 games and have been riding the success of their fast-paced offensive attack, even in the absence of one of their best players on both ends.
Here’s a look at everything that you need to know about the Sweet 16 matchup:
Oregon vs. Michigan, 2017 Sweet 16
Note: Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com.
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Start Time: 7:09 p.m. EST
TV Channel: CBS
Spread: (-1) Michigan
The game is the first of the Sweet 16 round and it figures to be a track meet from the opening tip.
Michigan’s back story is arguably one of the biggest storylines of the tournament so far, as they appeared to be limping toward March. But the Wolverines have turned it around and they’ve done it with Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin leading the way.
Michigan is ranked in the top 20 in shooting percentage as a team and in offensive efficiency.
The Ducks have one of the most powerful offenses in the nation. They’re led by Dillon Brooks, a 6-foot-7 junior that’s averaging a team-best 16.4 points per game this season. Brooks’ offensive output and Jordan Bell’s rebounding have helped patch the hole that was left when Chris Boucher suffered a season-ending injury during the Pac 12 Tournament.
Oh yeah, there’s also Tyler Dorsey. He’s been the key component to Oregon’s run so far, averaging 25.5 points in the tournament so far and shooting over 78 percent from the field.
Boucher was a big threat on the defensive end, and Michigan will look to take advantage of the absence. The Wolverines will need to get the ball inside the paint early and often and take quality shots each time down the floor, something they haven’t had a problem doing in March so far.
Oregon has one of the most explosive offenses in the nation and it not much has stopped them in the tournament so far.
It’s the first time the two programs have met in the NCAA Tournament and it will get the Sweet 16 round off to a high-paced start.