Rushed Reactions: #7 Michigan 73, #2 Louisville 69

Posted by rtmsf on March 19th, 2017

Rush the Court will be covering the NCAA Tournament from start to finish over the next three weeks.

Michigan’s Wild Ride Continues to the Sweet Sixteen (USA Today Images)

Three Key Takeaways.

  1. Michigan shot lights out in the second half. Michigan had a difficult first half and ended up at 36% from the field. They came out of the locker room to start the second half hot and shot 63%. Moritz Wagner had 17 points in the half and seemed to have an answer to silence the Cardinals each time they started to make a run. When it mattered most down the stretch, Wagner and team answered each time Louisville mounted a charge.
  2. Michigan can win the Midwest. Louisville was a fantastic team all season and Michigan played a solid game to knock them out. They were out-rebounded 37-30 and only shot 36% in the first half, but roared back to erase an eight point deficit to win by 4. Derrick Walton Jr. had a decent game but was only 3-13 from the field. He played the part of the  emotional leader on the court, but will need to step it up to get Michigan past Rhode Island or Oregon next week.
  3. When you’re 7 feet tall and can’t dunk… Anas Mahmoud missed two dunks in a close game. I wouldn’t go as far to say that his failure to put the ball down – twice – lost the game, but those 4 points sure would have helped the Cardinals cause in the four point loss. Louisville didn’t show up in the second half until it was too late. They ended up 1-10 from 3 point range in the second half and Quentin Snider ended with no points shooting 0-7 from behind the arc. You can’t win when your second leading scorer, averaging 12.9 PPG, is a non-factor.

Quotable.

  • “We’re here to win this thing. I’m no spring chicken.” — John Beilein to reporters after the game.
  • “We made some poor switches. Probably the weakness of our team this year has been our defense. Our offense in the last ten days or two weeks, we’ve gotten significantly better because we worked inside to out.” — Rick Pitino on Louisville’s second half defense.

Player of the Game. Moritz Wagner, Michigan (26 points, three rebounds). Wagner had a career-high 26 points, many of which came on tough drives in the second half. He was 11-14 from the field and came through time and again when the Wolverines needed a clutch basket.

Sights and Sounds. With 7:32 left DJ Wilson tipped in a layup and Derrick Walton Jr bobbed his head up and down as he backed down the floor and smiled like “We’ve got this now”. The Wolverines went on a quick run and never looked back.

What’s Next. The Wolverines, now in the Sweet Sixteen will play the winner of the Rhode Island and Oregon game on Friday.

rtmsf (3911 Posts)


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