Michigan's Magic Ends with One-Point Loss to Ducks

March 23, 2017

» Michigan erased a six-point second-half deficit to take a three-point lead late in the game.
» Derrick Walton Jr.'s last-second shot fell just short as the Oregon Ducks survived a Sweet 16 matchup.
» Walton and Zak Irvin scored 26 of Michigan's 35 second-half points.

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Site: Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center)
Event: NCAA Tournament (Third Round)
Score: #9 Oregon 69, #23 Michigan 68
Records: U-M (26-12), UO (32-5)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

• Kornacki Postgame Feature: Reflecting on a Special NCAA Tourney Run

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One shot was the difference Thursday night (March 23) as third-seeded Oregon outlasted the seventh-seeded University of Michigan men's basketball by a score of 69-68 in an NCAA Tournament round of 16 game at the Sprint Center.

Trailing by one, U-M's Derrick Walton Jr. got the shot he wanted as he shook Oregon's Dylan Ennis on a strong dribble and stepped back into a three-point shot he had made so often during the Wolverines' magical postseason run. In a rare change, his shot was short, bouncing high off the front rim as the clock ran out at the Ducks survived.

The second half was remarkably similar to Michigan's first two NCAA Tournament games as the teams executed offensively, with both squads flirting with the 50-percent mark from the floor.

Michigan was methodical in erasing a 50-44 deficit with 13:16 to play in the game as Walton and Zak Irvin carried the heart of their university. A 7-0 run, capped on a mid-range jumper from Irvin, put some magic into a quiet building with scores of neutral fans patiently observing. It triggered a back-and-forth ending as the game ultimately saw 16 lead changes and eight ties.

Oregon used a perfect inbounds set under its basket for a 65-64 lead 3:23 to play as Jordan Bell got inside position. As he had so often in the postseason, Irvin immediately answered, using an up-fake in the lane to regain the lead. Walton then stuck a jumper, and the Michigan faithful erupted with U-M's three-point margin with 2:02 to go.

Then, with Oregon at the free throw line, the Ducks missed a front-end shot only to see Bell save the possession with an athletic play and put-back. Following a missed U-M jumper, Tyler Dorsey's layup suddenly flipped the lead back in Oregon's favor, 69-68, with 1:08 to play. Both teams missed shots, setting up Michigan's final possession and the narrow defeat.

Walton's game-high 20 points (6-10 FG, 3-5 3-point) led the effort with the guard also logging eight assists and five rebounds. Irvin was clutch again, scoring 19 points (8-14 FG) with eight rebounds and three assists. Lost in their offensive output were impressive defensive efforts that kept the high-flying Ducks off-balance throughout the game.

Dorsey matched Walton with 20 points, with Bell adding an important stat line of 16 points (7-10 FG) and 13 rebounds.

Oregon took a 35-33 lead into intermission following a frenetic and choppy half of basketball. The Ducks jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but that was quickly erased on a pair of triples from D.J. Wilson (12 points, 4-8 3-point) at the 16:49 mark. Michigan took an 11-8 lead at the 12:55 mark when Walton found a cutting Duncan Robinson (8 points) in transition under the hoop.

Michigan's transition offense produced 12 points, driven by Walton's court vision. The Wolverines dished out assists on their first seven field goals, including a pair of transition triples. When Walton found a streaking Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman at the 6:55 mark, Michigan held its largest lead of the half at 21-17.

Michigan's defense held Oregon to 5-of-17 shooting (.294) early on, but the Ducks connected on 7-of-12 to finish the half, including a pair of triples from Dorsey, who shook off a slow start to lead all scorers at the break with 12 (4-8 FG, 3-4 3-point).

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