Inside the Sweet 16 matchup: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 7 Michigan
Before No. 7 Michigan takes on No. 3 Oregon in the Midwest Region semifinals Thursday night, BTN researcher Harold Shelton wanted to share what the Big Ten tournament champs have working for and against them vs. the Ducks.
Working in Michigan’s favor:
- The Wolverines are the hottest team in the Big Ten, winning 12 of their last 14 games, while shooting nearly 51 percent from the floor and 39 percent from 3-point range.
- Derrick Walton Jr., who could be this year’s household name in the tourney, is averaging 18.3 PPG, 46% FG, 43.3% 3-pt FG, 5.5 RPG and 5.9 APG over the last two months.
- Michigan is one of the best offensive teams in the nation, ranking in the Top 10 nationally in efficiency (3rd), turnovers (4th) and 2-point shooting (8th); it’s 11th in free-throw shooting.
- The Wolverines score nearly 38 percent of their points from behind the arc (19th).
- Moe Wagner and D.J. Wilson can both stretch the floor and also drive to the hoop. Wagner has made 45 3-pt FG while Wilson has made 37. Both players have been really good in this tournament. Wagner had a career-high 26 points on 11 of 14 shooting against Louisville in the 2nd round. Wilson is averaging 18 points per game in the 1st 2 rounds and is 10-10 from the free-throw line.
- Oregon isn’t a great free-throw shooting team, making just 70 percent of its attempts this season (169th).
- Chris Boucher’s season-ending injury could be a big problem for Oregon. He tore his ACL in the Pac-12 tournament and has missed the last three games. The 6’10 stretch 4 was averaging 11 points, 6 rebounds, shooting 52% from the floor and made 36 3-pointers. He was also the team’s leading shot blocker at 2.6 blocks per game. The team has had 4 blocks total in 2 NCAA Tournament games.
- Oregon wasn’t a great defensive rebounding team even with Boucher, ranking 208th nationally in defensive rebounding. They could struggle on defense even more without Boucher. In the three games without him, they’ve allowed 1.19 pts per possession against Arizona, 1.1 against Iona and 1.12 against Rhode Island.
Working against Michigan:
- It doesn’t defend the 3-pointer well, allowing opponents to shoot 38 percent (301st).
- Michigan doesn’t crash the offensive glass (294th) and it doesn’t get to the free-throw line much (295th). It isn’t great on the defensive glass either (231st), which could be a problem against an Oregon team that is pretty good at getting to the offensive glass (64th).
- The Wolverines give up a lot of easy buckets, allowing opponents to shoot nearly 67 percent on shots at the rim (327th) and also allow teams to shot 50 percent on 2-point shots (210th).
- This will be the most balanced team that Michigan has faced in the tournament so far. Oregon is 16th in offensive efficiency and 24th in defensive efficiency. However, we’ll see if they are up to the task defensively with Boucher out of the lineup.
- Oregon hits 55 percent of its 2-point shots (18th) and 38 percent of its triples (45th).
- Oregon ranks 7th in the country in transition offense and nearly 25 percent of its shots come in transition. It’s good in half court offense (47th nationally), too, but not as lethal.
- You won’t find many better guard tandems in this tournament better than Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey. Brooks is averaging more than 16 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 41 percent from 3. Dorsey is averaging 14 points while shooting 40 percent from the floor. He made the game-winning 3-pointer against Rhode Island and has scored at least 21 points in five straight games.
- Jordan Bell is a load inside. The 6’9, 225 pound forward makes 63 percent of his shots and leads the team with more than 8 rebounds per game. Seventy-two percent of his shots come at the rim, and he makes 71 percent of those shots.