Michigan Hits 16 Threes to Advance in NCAA Tourney

March 17, 2017

» Derrick Walton Jr. (26 pts., 11 assists, 5 reb.) became the first player to score at least 25 points, log at least 10 assists and five rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game since Dwyane Wade did so in 2003.
» Michigan set an NCAA Tournament program record with 16 three-pointers.
» D.J. Wilson's two free throws with less than five seconds to play gave U-M a four-point lead.

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Site: Indianapolis, Ind. (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
Event: NCAA Tournament (First Round)
Score: #23 Michigan 92, Oklahoma State 91
Records: U-M (25-11), OSU (20-13)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 19 -- vs. Louisville (Indianapolis, Ind.), 12:10 pm

• Kornacki Postgame Feature: Dissecting Friday's Critical Final Minute

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- In an offensive slugfest Friday (March 17), the No. 23-ranked University of Michigan men's basketball team held off Oklahoma State, 92-91, in an NCAA Tournament first-round game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

A pair of clutch D.J. Wilson free throws gave Michigan 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, 12:10 pm) second round against second-seeded Louisville.

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 lived up to the hype as Michigan, seeded seventh in the Midwest region, poured home a tournament-record 16 three-pointers (16-29, .552) with a total of 16 lead changes and 12 ties throughout a frenetic 40 minutes of play.

Oklahoma State shot nearly 55 percent overall itself, led by an electric point guard in Juwan Evans, who finished with 23 points (10-26 FG), 12 assists and seven rebounds. He was bested by Michigan star Derrick Walton Jr., with the Detroit native connecting on 6-of-9 shots from distance (7-of-13 overall) for 26 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals.

Walton became the first player to score at least 25 points, log at least 10 assists and five rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game since Dwyane Wade did so in 2003.

Michigan shook off a frustrating first half, marred by foul trouble and adjustments to OSU's fast-paced style of play, to hold a 41-40 lead at the break. Again Michigan was given little chance to settle into play in the second half as the Cowboys came out hot, making 8-of-9 shots to build a 59-54 lead with 14:02 remaining. Michigan answered loudly, asserting its long-range prowess for one of the great storylines of the tournament.

Despite trailing by as many as seven, Michigan was buoyed by 5-of-6 shooting from long range to start the decisive half. A sixth swish, from Walton, gave U-M a 62-61 lead with 12 minutes to play and provided a clear indication of what was in store for the remainder of the game.

Minutes later, a transition triple from Duncan Robinson was followed by a timely defensive stop and a pair of long triples from Walton -- and then a nifty floater -- to suddenly give U-M its largest lead of the game, 76-68, with 7:33 to play.

OSU again showed why it was one of the best offensive teams in the tournament, converting a layup and a timely second chance triple from Leyton Hammonds to make it 76-73.

Following a clutch mid-range jumper from Zak Irvin, OSU's Evans went to the free throw line with U-M holding an 84-79 lead with 1:31 left. The star guard missed a critical front end of a 1-and-1, and Walton made it hurt with a conversion in the lane for an 86-79 lead. With just three team fouls to that point, OSU spent the next 50 seconds trying to foul in order to extend the game.

The strategy helped as U-M missed a pair of front-end free throws with the lead suddenly dwindling to two, 90-88, before Wilson's conversions.

Wilson finished with 19 points (6-12 FG, 6-6 FT), five rebounds and four blocked shots. Irvin had another pivotal game with 16 points (6-11 FG, 4-6 3-point) and three assists while playing all 40 minutes. Lastly, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman contributed 16 points (6-11 FG, 3-6 3-point) and four assists.

The second half saw just four combined turnovers between the teams -- each with two. Michigan committed just four turnovers all day, continuing its nation-low turnover ratio.

The game got off to a somewhat shaky start, especially for U-M, which shot 1-of-7 from the floor, while OSU was 1-of-5 with three turnovers going into the first media timeout. U-M's biggest hurdle was foul trouble as Moritz Wagner was whistled for his second foul just 3:11 into the game. Wagner did not play a significant role in the game, although he still finished with six points in 14 minutes.

OSU was perfect in 10 trips to the charity stripe in the opening half, but U-M held a distinct advantage in turnovers, committing just two while forcing eight as the Wolverines converted the miscues into 10 points.

Game Notes
• Michigan set an NCAA Tournament program record with 16 three-pointers, needing just 29 attempts (55 percent).
• Michigan is 11-2 in its last 13 games.
• Michigan is making its 27th (22nd*) all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and its seventh under head coach John Beilein. The Wolverines have appeared in the NCAA Tournament in six of the last seven seasons.
• Michigan leads the country in fewest turnovers per game with just 9.42 miscues per contest. The Maize and Blue also ranks sixth in the country in fewest fouls, committing just 15.1 per game and 11th nationally in free throw percentage, shooting a school-record 77.5 percent from the charity stripe.
• U-M last played in the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis in 2014 when the Wolverines played Tennessee in the Sweet 16 and Kentucky in the Elite Eight at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Communications Contact: Kurt Svoboda


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