The first game of the Sweet 16 was a good one.
The No. 3 Oregon Ducks defeated the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines 69-68 on Thursday night during the first matchup of the Sweet 16. The Ducks had just a two-point lead over the Wolverines at halftime, and it remained close in the second half, but they were able to hold off the Wolverines’ late-scoring effort at the very end.
The win puts Oregon in the Elite Eight for the second straight year, which looked to be much harder to do after losing key big man Chris Boucher to an ACL tear just before Selection Sunday. Boucher was a key part of the Ducks’ offense, averaging 12 points and six rebounds on the year. Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell performed quite well without having Boucher on-hand, combining for 28 points on the night.
Meanwhile for Michigan, this ends an incredible month for this Wolverines team. They got off to a rocky start — the team’s plane crashed as it was headed to the Big Ten Tournament earlier in the month, majorly delaying their arrival for their first game. They even had to play that first game against Illinois wearing their practice uniforms as a result. The Wolverines went on to win the Big Ten Tournament championship, beating the Wisconsin Badgers 71-56.
From there, the Wolverines were given a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They defeated No. 10 Oklahoma State in the first round, and then upset No. 2 Louisville in the second round.
The Ducks will go on to face the winner of No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Purdue.