After a 32-4 season that saw Villanova win a dual-Big East titles, the Wildcats with Hart and Jenkins have now won four Big East regular season titles, two Big East tournament titles, a national title and 129 games. I genuinely expect Rhode Island to extend its winning streak to 10 and advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1998.
After the game, Derrick Walton said he was “extremely proud” of what Michigan’s done so far, and he credited the defense as their secret weapon going forward. The Gamecocks were one of a record five teams making their first tourney appearance.
Beilein has faced Pitino a number of times before, including the two most painful losses of Beilein’s career – the 2005 regional final with West Virginia and 2013 national title game with MI – so he’s heard the inflation.
Those are the words of sophomore big man Mo Wagner in the aftermath of the Oklahoma State victory. Louisville usually gets more offense out of its backcourt, but center Mangok Mathiang recently has become a scoring threat with 18 points in the win over Jacksonville State. Oklahoma State didn’t really have that kind of inside presence, so Wagner will need to stay out on the floor.
Louisville has made the Sweet 16 in five of the past six years. No. 2 Kentucky against No. 10 Wichita State is a rematch of the 2014 game where the Wildcats ruined the Shockers’ 35-0 season. “It wasn’t because of a lack of effort”, Jacksonville State coach Ray Harper.
MI entered this game as one of March’s hottest teams, overcoming no less than a plane accident to win the Big Ten title. The key this time will be how successful the Cardinals can be in limiting Michigan’s long-range shooting.
Louisville had won seven straight games before losing to Notre Dame in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. That is to be expected though with a 2-15 matchup. And when they were challenged, the Cardinals kept finding answers that got the mostly red-and-black clad crowd on its feet. The Wolverines probably won’t catch the Cardinals sleeping due to their stellar play over the last few weeks. Today’s action features two more SEC-ACC matchups as SC faces Duke and Arkansas meets North Carolina. His Cardinals battled back from a 20-point deficit to win 93-85 in overtime.
The 1986-87 season was the first in which the three-point shot was used in the NCAAs, and Pitino was among the first coaches to grasp how useful it could be. They gave up 88 points to Wake Forest and 81 to Duke at the end of the season. “So I agree… there’s a lot of similarities to the way they shot it and the way this team shoots it”.
Louisville likes to run a press defense, and that could work in Michigan’s favor.
All eyes will be glued here, as each team’s best player plays point guard. And I said, ‘Guys, you’re not going to believe this, we can’t play them zone.
Pitino also continues to see the game through a different set of eyes than some of his coaching colleagues.
Joe White: On Thursday, Michigan basketball answered my biggest question, which was “did they have anything left in the tank?”
Louisville flipped the game with an 8-2 run late in the first half to take its first lead.
If Michigan gets slaughtered on the boards again and can’t connect on their 3s, it’s Louisville’s game to lose.
Derrick Walton Jr.is the Wolverine’s best player, and is now riding a hot streak that brings to mind memories of former national POY Trey Burke. Be a leader and others will follow.