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Cowboys Out Of NCAA Tourney After Close Loss To Michigan
March 28 2017, 02:21 | Van Peters
By the time the nets were cut down Sunday in the Verizon Center, Michigan basketball had jumped to a respectable 24-11 record. The game is scheduled for a 9:20 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TNT.
Today's game is the Cowboys' first NCAA Tournament contest since their 2015 loss to Oregon.
Jeffrey Carroll and Phil Forte are Oklahoma State's sharpshooters. I think if anything, they win 30 games, they play UConn to six points, they're very good. They blew a late lead against Virginia Tech.
MI erased a six-point second-half deficit with a run of four 3s, the last from Walton with 12:28 to go to take a 62-61 lead. He is a passing wizard with outstanding court vision. Ellis averages 5.6 points per game and 1.2 assists on an average of 19.1 minutes per game.
I hope he stays, and think he should. The NCAA Tournament will start Thursday and the NIT will start with one game Wednesday but most first round games are Thursday.
The team's senior starters, Zak Irvin and Walton Jr., are preaching focus and execution this week because they don't want their college careers to end just yet. PSU and Ohio State put up an identical 34 shots against their opponents, though Ohio State had a bit more luck, with 5 separate players finding the back of the net. It was a sight MI did not want to see: the player the Wolverines could ill afford to lose was their brilliant senior point guard, especially as Oklahoma State was making yet another run. They have won 10 of their last 12 games and are playing a highly efficient brand of basketball.
"We're just happy to play with each other", Evans said. The Wolverines responded by scoring on each of their next six possessions including four threes.
Despite trailing by as many as seven, MI was buoyed by 5-of-6 shooting from long range to start the decisive half.
MI is coming off an improbable run to the Big Ten Tournament championship last week, knocking off four opponents in four days after a scary moment involving their team plane held up their arrival to Washington D.C.
Fun fact before we begin: Oklahoma State has been to more NCAA Tournaments than MI: 28-27. She is top on our team in assists, she gets to the free throw line, and she does a lot of things to make our team better.
If the weather stands to play a problem in getting schools across the country to New York City next year should they preemptively forfeit? The problem for them is, MI doesn't foul a lot.
Their "big man" is Moritz Wagner.
Maybe we'll see some Madness today.
"It was a matter of trying to stop them from shooting in the paint and step-in 3s", Underwood said.
How well has MI played? MI fans know first hand just how good SC can be.
The national sports media had this game circled with two of the best offensive teams going toe to toe with the promise of a rare first-round classic with two teams seemingly under seeded. "It was a good time". MI made an NCAA Tournament program-record 16 3-pointers, the most given up by the Cowboys all season, and escaped, 92-91.
It's rather wonderful that a team which connected on 16 of 29 shots from 3-point range was in a close game. Can they fire it back up or have they already won their Super Bowl?
Walton says the team often takes after their leader. The offensive reemergence of Zak Irvin makes MI nearly impossible to guard. They've also lost three of their last four games, including a 25-point thumping at the hands of the Tar Heels in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. Unfortunately, the MI hockey teams* are very bad and couldn't muster up a win for us. This team was a highly overachieving squad in coach Brad Underwood's first year. It starts now, it starts all week with preparation for MI. The difference is in the defense, where the Wolverines are 69th while the Cowboys come in at 133rd.
Jordan Washington had 22 points and 11 rebounds for 14th-seeded Iona (22-13).
Conference: Big Ten. Bid: Big Ten champion. The Wolverines outlast OK St 82-76.
Moreover, this is the 31st NCAA Tournament all-time trip for the Spartans.
On the defensive side, though, MI could neither stay in front of Evans, nor keep Oklahoma State off the glass. MI prevailed by one, largely on the strength of 26 points from point guard Derrick Walton Jr.
Michigan State will make its 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Coach Tom Izzo, celebrating the nation's third-longest active streak. Much narrower than a four seed versus a seven seed. Of course 1992 and 1993 have since been vacated.