KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — No. 7 seed Michigan (26-11) vs. No. 3 seed Oregon (31-5)
Third round, Midwest region; Kansas City, Missouri; 7:09 p.m. EDT.
BOTTOM LINE: Michigan has won seven in a row and 12 of its last 14 after knocking out second-seeded Louisville in the second round. The Wolverines have been a tournament darling since they escaped tragedy during an aborted takeoff on their way to the Big Ten Tournament. Oregon has withstood the loss of big man Chris Boucher to a season-ending knee injury in the Pac-12 semifinals to make the Sweet 16 for a second year in a row.
ALL ABOUT WALTON: When Michigan lost at home to Ohio State in early February, coach John Beilein said the mood around the team was “lower than low.” He demanded that everyone give just a little more effort. Derrick Walton Jr. took it to heart and has carried the team during its run. In the last six games, he’s averaging 19.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.2 rebounds and shooting 41.7 percent from behind the 3-point line.
GOING FOR 32: The Ducks would set the school record for wins if they beat Michigan. Oregon, Kansas and Villanova are the only three teams in the nation to have won 30 games each of the last two seasons.
HE SAID IT: “We have all been rooting for them to win until now, because obviously we want to win. We’ve all been cheering them on. We understand that going through a thing like that can really bring a lot of heart and passion out of people.” — Oregon forward Jordan Bell, on Michigan’s run since the plane mishap.
DID YOU KNOW: Michigan is 4-0 all-time against Oregon. The Wolverines won the most recent meeting 70-63 in a Thanksgiving tournament in 2014.