In the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament, the No.7 Michigan Wolverines (25-11) advanced to the Round of 32 for the first time since 2014, beating the No. 10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-13) 92-91 on Friday afternoon in Indianapolis.
Derrick Walton Jr. had 26 points and 11 assists while D.J. Wilson had 19 points, four blocks and five rebounds. Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman both had 16 points.
Michigan had trouble avoiding fouls early on, especially Moritz Wagner, who had two fouls in the first five minutes. The Cowboys also set the tone with a fast-paced offense and a stifling man-to-man defense that held the Wolverines to just 3 for 11 from the field at the 12-minute mark. Additionally, Oklahoma State got far more production from their players on the bench, 16 points to Michigan’s one in the first half.
With 7:25 left in the first half, OSU led 27-20, but the Wolverines rallied and took the lead back and into halftime when Derrick Walton Jr. drew a foul on a three-point shot for a 41-40 lead on the maize and blue’s last possession.
The Cowboys kept on swinging in the second half, putting up 18 points in the first six minutes. The Wolverines countered by heating up from the three-point line. Momentum started to shift Michigan’s way after Duncan Robinson and Derrick Walton Jr. made back-to-back three pointers to give the team a 70-64 lead with 9:12 left in the game.
With 4:17 left, Oklahoma state fought back to make it a 79-77 game in favor of the Wolverines and continued to keep it close down to the last second. As they began to foul in hopes of getting the lead back, the Cowboys fell just short of sending the game to overtime, when D.J. Wilson hit both of his free-throws to make it a four-point game with 3.7 seconds left before Jawun Evans made a three-point jumper as the clock hit zero.
The maize and blue were out rebounded 40-21 and didn’t shoot as well on field goals. However, they only turned the ball over four times and went 16 for 29 on three-point shots
The Wolverines will now face either No. 2 Louisville or No. 15 Jacksonville State on Sunday afternoon with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.