Midwest Regional Semifinals: #3 Oregon Ducks vs #7 Michigan Wolverines

2017 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Regional Semifinals
#3 Oregon Ducks vs #7 Michigan Wolverines
Thursday, March 23, 2017, 7:09 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Opening Line: Oregon Pick
Current Line: Michigan -1
Opening Total: 146
Current Total: 146 1/2
Opening Money Line: Michigan -118 / Oregon -102
Current Money Line: Michigan -120 / Oregon +100

Michigan is a slight favorite over Oregon in the Sweet 16 Thursday in Kansas City.

The 31-5 Oregon Ducks take on the 26-11 Michigan Wolverines in the Midwest Regional Semifinals Thursday in Kansas City. Oregon is the #3 seed in the region and Michigan is the #7 seed. The winner will face either #1 Kansas or #4 Purdue in the Regional Final Saturday. Michigan leads the series 4-0 against Oregon including a 70-63 win in Brooklyn in 2014.

Michigan is coached by John Beilein. Michigan was part of a four way tie for fifth in the Big Ten with a 10-8 record. The Wolverines won the Big Ten Tournament by beating Wisconsin 71-56 in the championship game. The Wolverines won four games in four days after a scary incident on the way to the tournament where the team plane skidded off the runway and into a ditch. No one was seriously injured fortunately. Michigan beat #10 Oklahoma State 92-91 in the first round and #2 Louisville 73-69 in the second round, both in Indianapolis. Michigan is making their 27th trip to the NCAA Tournament including seven times since 2009. The Wolverines are in the Sweet 16 for the 15th time.

Michigan has road losses to South Carolina, UCLA, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Northwestern, plus home losses to Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Wolverines have home wins over Mt. St. Mary’s, Texas, Penn State, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Purdue. Michigan has neutral site wins over Marquette and SMU in New York City, plus road wins at Indiana, Rutgers, and Nebraska. Michigan is 17-17 ATS and the total is 20-12-2 this season. The Wolverines were 3 point underdogs against Louisville and the total was 142.

Oregon is coached by Dana Altman. The Ducks tied with Arizona for the Pac 12 regular season title with a 16-2 record. However, Arizona beat Oregon 83-80 in the Pac 12 Championship game in Las Vegas. Oregon beat #14 seed Iona 93-77 in the first round and #11 seed Rhode Island 75-72 in the second round, both in Sacramento. Oregon is making their 15th appearance in the Tournament including five straight. They are in the Sweet 16 for the sixth time and second straight time.

Oregon has road losses to Baylor, Colorado, UCLA, plus neutral site losses to Georgetown in  Maui and Arizona in Las Vegas. The Ducks have home wins over Valparaiso, Boise State, Alabama, Montana, Fresno State, UCLA, USC, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, Arizona State, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Oregon has road wins over Washington, Washington State, Utah, USC, Cal, Stanford, and Oregon State, plus neutral site wins over Tennessee and Connecticut in Maui, UNLV in Portland, plus Arizona State and Cal in the Pac 12 tournament in Las Vegas. The Ducks are 20-15 ATS and the total is 17-18 this season. Oregon was a 4.5 point favorite against Rhode Island and the total was 143.

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Michigan is outscoring teams 75-66. The Wolverines are #38 in points allowed nationally. Michigan is shooting 48.3% from the field and 38.1% from 3 point range. The Wolverines  are #20 in field goal shooting nationally. Michigan makes 77.5% of their free throws and is #11 in that category nationally. Opponents are shooting 46.2% from the field and 37.8% from 3 point range. Michigan averages 29.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.2. The Wolverines  average 13.8 assists, 9.4 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 2.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 4.3 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.

Derrick Walton Jr.  averages 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Zak Irvin averages 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Moritz Wagner averages 12 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. D.J. Wilson averages 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Three other players will get time in the rotation.

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Oregon is outscoring teams 79-66 this season. The Ducks are #44 or better in both categories nationally. The Ducks are shooting 48.4% from the field and 37.9% from 3 point range. Oregon is #19 in field goal percentage nationally. Oregon makes 70.8% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 40.5% from the field and 31.3% from 3 point range. The Ducks are #26 or better in both categories. Oregon averages 36.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.1 per game. Oregon averages 16.1 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 6.6 steals and 6.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.4 assists, 13.6 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Dillon Brooks averages 16.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game.  Tyler Dorsey averages 14 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Chris Boucher averages 11.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He is out for the season with a knee injured suffered during the Pac 12 Tournament. Jordan Bell averages 10.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals  and 2.1 blocks per game. Elgin Cook averages 10.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Payton Pritchard and Casey Benson will also get minutes in the rotation.  M.J. Cage is out for the season with a knee injury.

Michigan is 7-1 ATS in neutral site games, 6-1-1 as an NCAA Tournament favorite, 6-1 overall, 5-1 after a straight up win and against teams with winning records, 4-1 after a cover 4-1-1 as an NCAA Tournament favorite of less than 6.5 points, 7-2 as a favorite of less than 6.5 points, 9-3-1 as a neutral site favorite, 35-16-1 in Thursday games, and 1-3-1 against Pac 12 teams.

Oregon is 7-1 ATS in Thursday games, 5-1 as an NCAA Tournament underdog, 10-2 as an underdog of less than 6.5 points, 4-1 as a neutral site underdog, 5-2-1 against Big Ten teams, 37-16 as an underdog, 16-7 overall, 9-4 against NCAA Tournament games, 2-5 after a straight up win, and 1-5 against teams with winning records.

Michigan could be a team of destiny. Even before the plane incident, they were still playing the best basketball of the season having only lost twice in the last ten games by a total of seven points. The loss of Boucher hurts Oregon, but this team is still very dangerous. I like Michigan to win a close low scoring game.

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