March Madness: Can Michigan pull off the upset of Louisville? 3/19/17

The Cardinals were a dismal 5 of 20 from 3-point range and turned the ball over 11 times. Louisville should have more fans than MI, but the Wolverines are showing out better than you might expect from the way it looks now. From late January to late February, no player was better than Louisville's Donovan Mitchell, averaging 22 points per game, earning him first-team All-ACC honors. Wagner converted four field goals and Wilson added three, including a looping transition layup. In the first half, U-M appeared to be out matched in the post, with the size of Louisville's centers nearly being too much for Wilson and Wagner. Senior Mangok Mathiang continued his hot play, scoring five early.

"They're going to come out, they're going to play full-court pressure", he said. MI made 16 three pointers, with 11 of those coming in the second half. U-M needs more out of Moe Wagner, who continues to be in foul trouble and hasn't had a dynamic game in three weeks. His ability to knock down 3s will be crucial, but his defensive matchup against Deng Adel (6-7, 16 points vs. JSU) could be the difference maker. Mitchell, 3-for-8, pitched in eight points and five rebounds.

Though down 36-28 at the half, MI battled back to tie things up at 55 with seven minutes to play.

The Wolverines made 17-of-27 second-half shots and outscored Louisville 45-33 after halftime.

Michigan Faces Louisville in RD 2 Action / Into boxing as well? There was no repeat performance two days later as MI hit only six of its 17 3-point attempts.

As the second-half unfolded, MI started to heat up on both ends of the floor. However, as stated above, MI can force Louisville to create their own offense.

In the final media break, MI claimed a 63-59 lead with 3:36 to play.

Wagner answered by splitting two free throws, scoring on a driving layup and drawing an offensive foul on Jaylen Johnson in the post to give MI a 67-61 advantage with 1:18 remaining. Derrick Walton, playing like a man possessed right now and sometimes that's all it takes.

Michigan's Wilson hit four free throws down the stretch to ice the game. Louisville was not helped by junior guard Quentin Snider, who missed all nine of his shots and was held scoreless.

Now the biggest issue is a tight turnaround to Thursday's game in Kansas City.

Louisville (24-8) gave up two scholarships this season, and is still waiting to hear back from the NCAA in regards to its response to alleged recruiting violations that included accusations of strippers being hired to win over high-school prospects.

  • Carolyn Briggs