No. 3 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 7 Michigan Wolverines Preview
Where: Sprint Center – Kansas City, MO
When: Thursday, March 23, 2017 – 7:09 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Oregon Ducks (31-5, 16-2 Pac-12)
Oregon advanced to the Sweet 16 after beating Rhode Island, 75-72. They did it with only two guys doing much of the damage – Tyler Dorsey scored 27 points on 9-for-10 shooting, including four threes, and leader Dillon Brooks recorded 19 points and seven rebounds.
The two swingmen can be expected to continue being the team’s one-two punch. They’ve consistently and efficiently been 1A and 1B in the Ducks’ attack, especially as of late – Brooks is posting 20.2 points and shooting 52.2 percent since the start of February, while Dorsey, who’s been earning the nickname “Mr. March,” is powering for 23.6 points on an eye-popping 64.6 percent shooting in his last five.
For the team’s defense and dirty work, meanwhile, Jordan Bell is the guy that’s getting better and better, which is very timely since defensive specialist Chris Boucher just went down with a season-ending knee injury. Bell has 10 or more boards in five of his last six outings, and in that span, he’s averaging 10.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks.
The Ducks are winners in 10 of their last 11 (6-4-1 ATS). In that stretch, they are plus 12 on points and shoot 49.5 percent from the floor.
Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (26-11, 10-8 Big Ten)
Michigan continued its great shooting Sunday night against Louisville. It showcased how patient their offense and defense are, as they recovered from a rather flat first half and 8-point halftime deficit to win, 73-69.
Moe Wagner was suddenly unstoppable. His career-high 26 points and 11-for-14 shooting, which are mostly inside the paint, made the Cardinals’ much-hyped defense looked non-existent.
The team’s leading scorer, Derrick Walton, was the lone Wolverine that had a hard time making baskets (3-for-13 shooting), but he was able to fill the stat sheet in other areas. He hauled in seven rebounds and dished out six assists without committing a single turnover.
The Wolverines are now winners of seven straight games (6-1 ATS). They are winning by an average of 12.4 points and have been shooting the lights out from everywhere – 64.4 percent from two and 40.8 from three.
Such efficiency from their shots should enable them to go toe-to-toe with Brooks, Dorsey, and the surging Ducks. Perimeter players Walton and Zak Irvin will be a key in stretching the defense, but Wagner’s size advantage over the Oregon front court could have a bigger impact.
This will be an offense-filled showdown. Oregon’s (+1) defense, however, will help them prevail in the end, 84-81.
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