NCAA Tournament: Midwest Region Round Two, Day Two Recap

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AUSTIN, TX - FEBRUARY 25: Frank Mason III #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks drives around Andrew Jones #1 of the Texas Longhorns at the Frank Erwin Center on February 25, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

NCAA Tournament: Midwest Region Round Two, Day Two Recap

Michigan Wolverines upset Louisville Cardinals

What an exciting start it was to the second day of Round Two in Midwest Region of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament – (2) Louisville vs. (7) Michigan. The Wolverines came into the game knowing they had to win the battle behind the arc as they did to overcome Oklahoma State in Round One. Rick Pitino called Michigan the “Golden State Warriors.” Although this is a bit far-fetched realistically speaking, Michigan does know how to spread the floor and make shots. However, Louisville was able to outmatch them in this aspect early in the game. Deng Adel and Donovan Mitchell recorded two threes apiece in the first half, while Michigan was held to shooting just 27.3% in from 3-point range.

Louisville’s game was attacking the rim, led by Mitchell and Adel. They outrebounded Michigan 24-16 and went on an 8-0 run in the last minute and a half to give the Cardinals a 36-28 lead going into the locker room at halftime.

The Wolverines came out swinging in the second half, trying to beat Louisville at their own game of scoring in the paint. Moritz Wagner had a steal followed by assisting a basket by Zak Irvin forcing Rick Pitino to call a timeout with 13:24 left in the game. About two minutes later, Irvin converted back-to-back jumpers to bring Michigan within 3.

The Wolverines took their first lead of the game with just inside nine minutes left. After this, the Cardinals never led again. Wagner had an outstanding second half tallying a career-high 26 points next to D.J. Wilson‘s 17. With that, super-soakers in the locker room it was. The Wolverines upset Louisville and are heading to the Sweet Sixteen for the third time in five years.

FINAL: Michigan 73, Louisville 69
 

Kansas Jayhawks fight off a young Michigan State Spartans team

Josh Jackson vs. Miles Bridges – We knew neither were going to give in easy (or at all) as (1) Kansas played (9) Michigan State on Sunday evening. A favored Kansas team came out playing hard, but the Spartans were able to keep up the fight early on. Bridges then suffered an injury five minutes into the game, and Michigan State had to look elsewhere for scoring until he returned later in the first half.

Lourawls Nairn Jr. also sat out for a while with an injury, returning just 42 seconds before halftime. Kansas went on a 9-0 run with about three minutes left in the half, but Michigan State answered back with a 6-0 run in the last 1:13. The Jayhawks had three players with nine points, and Bridges recorded 13 points and five rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Kansas led MSU 40-35 at halftime.

In the second half, both teams came out fighting, but Kansas seemed to have just a little more energy. Frank Mason III turned more aggressive, attacking the rim and drawing fouls. On the other side of a few of those fouls was Nick Ward, who sat a good portion in the middle of the second half with four fouls. This is not where the Spartans wanted to be, as Ward has been their number two scorer and is the best offensive rebounder in the country. They had to try to find another way.

Michigan State went on a short 5-0 run to get within one (53-54) and force Bill Self into a timeout with 12:18 left on the clock. Out of that timeout, Kansas proceeded to take off and go on a 13-4 run, giving them a double-digit lead that the Spartans couldn’t quite escape. Miles Bridges finished with 22 points and eight rebounds for MSU, while Josh Jackson helped lead the soaring Jayhawks with 23 points alongside Mason’s 20.

This is about the most accurate end of game summary I could find, courtesy of Twitter:

Seven short minutes later:

FINAL: Kansas 90, Michigan State 70

Oregon Ducks knock  out a Cinderella hopeful

If someone was asked what seed these two teams were while watching this game, I doubt they would guess correctly. The game between (3) Oregon and (11) Rhode Island Rams was played like a good 8-9 matchup would be expected to unfold.

The game favored Rhode Island early, but a confident Oregon team took charge and gained an eight-point lead. However, this Rams team had already executed one upset, so it was clear they weren’t letting Oregon intimidate them out of this one. The Rams went on a 17-8 run late in the first half, forcing the Ducks into turnovers. Stanford Robinson shot 6/7 to help Rhode Island gain an eight-point lead over Oregon at the half – 46-38.

The second half can be summed up in one name: Tyler Dorsey. Rhode Island was able to hold off the Ducks for a while in the second half to maintain a lead, but as it got later in the game, things started clicking for Oregon. Dillon Brooks hit a shot from behind the arc to give the Ducks a two-point lead just inside the five-minute mark. The two teams were soon tied at 72 with 40 seconds left.

Then, this happened:

With that, the No. 11 Cinderella hopeful didn’t make it home before the clock struck midnight. Dorsey shot 90% and 4/5 from deep to finish with 27 points. Robinson led the Rams with 21 points (10/12).

FINAL: Oregon 75, Rhode Island 72

 

AUSTIN, TX – FEBRUARY 25: Frank Mason III #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks drives around Andrew Jones #1 of the Texas Longhorns at the Frank Erwin Center on February 25, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

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