Michigan's 73-69 upset of Louisville exemplifies the role reversals between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten this postseason.
MI continues to be on fire, as the Wolverines are coming off a 92-91 win over Oklahoma State in one of the top games in the first round. While Michigan was scoring almost every trip down the court in the second half, Louisville had stretches when they couldn't buy a basket.
Head coach John Beilein has MI playing well at the right time, and was eager to celebrate with his team following the upset victory.
MI is quickly becoming the feel-good story of the tournament. But the Wolverines yet again found a different way to win, much like they did in running through the Big Ten Tournament. After getting dominated on the offensive boards in the first half, they clamped down on dribble penetration and diligently boxed out in the second half. They now head to Kansas City for their Sweet 16 game against the victor of the Rhode Island - Oregon game.
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Nothing about the showdown slowed in the second half, though MI sped up and closed the gap, not even attempting a shot from deep over the first nine minutes, which was something of a strategy by both sides. For good measure, he also stepped outside and drained a critical three-pointer, his only attempt of the game. No. 7 MI play for the first time since the 2013 title game won by the Cardinals. Hard to think this team was 14-9 overall and 4-6 in the Big Ten after a home loss to Ohio State on February 4. With that, we will also be blessed with seeing two of the best coaches go nose-to-nose during the game: Bill Self and Tom Izzo.
Louisville's pressure defence forced only six MI turnovers and the Cardinals wound up just 5 of 20 on 3-pointers. The senior point guard continues to hit big shot after big shot and to lift the team in the clutch. Point guard Derrick Walton Jr. has missed seven of his eight shots and has a pair of fouls. "I hope they get back to a national championship game". Coach Rick Pitino will undoubtedly be looking for a stronger performance from his team on Sunday.
"I saw a young kid with a lot of talent, a lot of length, a lot of winning attributes that didn't have a body to compete and to be physical and to rebound and really play his game he wants to play", Sanderson said.
"He has great size and he's very physical and he can step out and hit the three so it makes it hard to guard him", Adel said of Wagner.