MI goes deep to beat Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State: For the Cowboys, the NCAA Tournament has been problematic. The game will be played at, what is for MI, the friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The problem was that MI was scheduled to play its first tournament game the next day in DC at 12:20 p.m.

After losing to Kansas State on January 19, Oklahoma State was 10-8.

Michigan State plays in the Richmond Spider Invitational, where they'll face Campbell, Richmond, and Cornell, teams that are 268, 244, and 76th in RPI. He is a passing wizard with outstanding court vision. Seniors Phil Forte and Leyton Hammonds scored 12 and 10 in their respective finales and Jeffrey Carroll had 19 points on just eight shots.

The Wolverines will not be the only MI team in action on Friday. It made 16 of them, good for a staggering 55.2 percent. The Cowboys also foul a lot, ranking 336th in fewest fouls per game (22.2). Coming out of Flint, Michigan, the 5-star recruit has proven in less than a complete season that he deserves all the looks from the National Basketball Association that he can get. Thanks be to Evans for that - it's unbelievable how much space he's able to clear for shooters when he snakes his way into the lane.

Wilson free throws gave MI a 92-88 lead with less than five seconds to play, and the Wolverines shrugged off a last-second three-pointer to advance to Sunday's (March 19) second round against the victor of second-seeded Louisville and 15th-seeded Jacksonville State. MI has become one of the biggest stories of March, winning the Big Ten tournament after a plane mishap on the runway caused a late arrival.

Dillard said he played in two state championship games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse during his high school career.

Evans' play was mixed.

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. Watching the players on the bench celebrate the starters' best plays was nearly as much fun as watching the players on the court make those plays. Then once the threes quit with MI leading 86-81, following a Walton drive to the basket, the Oklahoma State fouling began followed by desperate possessions throughout the final 39.3 of the game.

They don't shoot free throws well.

"And now that it's over, it's going to hit the seniors hard, and they're going to start realizing that this is it". The problem for them is, MI doesn't foul a lot. "Like we didn't worry about any of that coming into the game". For now, we'll have to wait and see.

"We have to be better than we've been", Underwood said. Wagner isn't the only player who can shoot the heck out of it.

How well has MI played?

"Only if they hit at least 10 three-point shots and Louisville is off offensively". Meanwhile, the Cowboys rank 231st nationally in three point defense.

The Cardinals and Wolverines share three opponents this season - Virginia Tech, Purdue and Indiana. MI fans know first hand just how good SC can be. Something odd seems to happen every time John Beilein takes a MI team to the tournament, they become a trendy team to pick against. To start off the tournament the Spartans will go up against an 8th-seeded Miami (FL) team. "Thought we finished the game strong, but it was just too much to come back from". The good times keep on rolling as the Wolverines win 85-78.

MI opens NCAA Tournament play on Friday at 12:15 p.m. Follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Geoff Robinson of The Detroit News.

After a mostly boring first day of the NCAA Tournament, the opening game delivered excitement in spades.

"Every punch, they threw right back". If he would have missed, MI bettors would have won. Last night served as the quarterfinal to the real show, and saw both Michigan State and Michigan bounced by Ohio State and PSU, respectively.

Assistant coach Billy Donlon was standing in a corner of the locker room trying to describe what that is like when MI is rolling, and attributed a quote to another assistant. He was one of five on his team in double digits. This game should be an up and down, high-scoring affair, but in the end, the team that gets the important stops at the end will win. Tyler Sheehy was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and is one of the Top Ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. The Wolverines outlast OK St 82-76. He was upset in 2006 by his George Mason team in the NCAA Tournament and he lost to him in the 2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Coral Gables. Their all time tournament record stands at 52-25 (45-21 after sanctions).

Michigan's Zak Irvin and D.J. Wilson were the stronger offensive weapons late in the first half and then five Wilson free throws to end the first half helped MI to the one point lead 41-40 at the break.

Walton and Cowboys point guard Jawun Evans traded stunning basket for stunning basket, and each outdid the other with dazzling assists.

"The game's changing. The 3-point line is changing that way".

John Beilein has led MI to the NCAA Tournament seven times (2009, '11, '12, '13, '14, '16, '17) in 10 seasons.

On paper, this group isn't a realistic Final Four contender. Of course 1992 and 1993 have since been vacated.

  • Loretta Pittman