Michigan caught fire in the second half, going 11-for-15 from 3-point range while doing just enough on defense to slow down Oklahoma State and advance to the next round of the NCAA Tournament with a 92-91 victory.
With the win, Michigan will take on the winner of Louisville and Jacksonville State on Sunday in Indianapolis.
Zak Irvin hit a pull-up jumper with just under two minutes remaining to push the Michigan lead to five. OSU guard Jawun Evans missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Derrick Walton Jr. used an up-and-under finish in the paint to put the Wolverines up 86-79 with 52 seconds on the clock. The Cowboys got within four with 18 seconds remaining, and Duncan Robinson missed the front end of a 1-and-1. After Evans got another layup to cut the Michigan lead to two, Walton Jr. stepped to the line and hit a pair of free throws. Evans got another easy layup with 3.7 on the clock to again cut the deficit to two at 90-88, but D.J. Wilson closed it out with a pair of his own from the charity stripe.
After scoring just five points in the first half, Walton Jr. finished with a game-high 26 and 11 assists to pace a big offensive showing for the Wolverines. D.J. Wilson finished with 19, while Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Adbur-Rahkman netted 16 apiece.
Evans led the way for OSU with 23 points and 12 assists.
Wolverines trying to hang on
A D.J. Wilson 3-pointer gave Michigan its biggest lead of the day at 76-68. After Oklahoma State responded and cut their deficit to three, Duncan Robinson hit another long ball and put the Wolverines back up by six.
The Cowboys continued to push, cutting the Michigan lead to 79-77 with a Jawun Evans layup, but Zak Irvin answered with ANOTHER 3-pointer and Michigan is now 11-for-15 from beyond the arc in the second half.
With 2:53 remaining, Michigan leads 82-77.
Big sequence puts Michigan on top
In what could prove to be the game's turning point, the Michigan defense got a stop followed by a Duncan Robinson 3-pointer in transition. D.J. Wilson shut the door on an easy layup for OSU on the other end with a big block, and Derrick Walton Jr. did his best Trey Burke impression with a LONG range 3-pointer that gives Michigan a 70-64 lead with 9:06 left to play.
Wolverines keeping up with the Cowboys
The Cowboys started 8-for-9 from the field in the second half as Michigan's defense has struggled to contain the high-scoring offense. The Wolverines, however, have shown quite a bit of firepower of their own to stay in the game.
With exactly 12 minutes remaining, we're tied 62-62.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman has 16 points, and Derrick Walton Jr. has started hitting his shots from the outside with three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the second half.
OSU off to a hot start in the second half
Jawun Evans and Derrick Walton Jr. got things started in the second half by exchanging 3-pointers. After having what looked like a surefire bucket from beyond the arc rim out, Phil Forte got his next one to drop to give Oklahoma State the lead. Jeffrey Carroll added to Michigan's misery with one of his own, giving OSU a 52-46 lead with 15:40 to play in the second half.
The Wolverines are going to have to find their spots on the defensive end. Evans is getting to the hole and finding his shooters on sets, and the Cowboys are deadly in transition.
Michigan takes slim lead into halftime
Derrick Walton Jr. hit three free throws before the half, and after a slow start, Michigan leads Oklahoma State 41-40 heading to the locker rooms. Walton Jr. is just 1-for-6 from the field, but he's got six assists in leading the Michigan offense.
The Wolverines struggled on offense for the first 12 minutes of the first half after Moritz Wagner went to the bench with two fouls in the game's first three minutes. Wagner and D.J. Wilson, when on the floor together, give Michigan a great mismatch against the OSU defense. After Wagner came back into the game, the floor spacing changed and the Wolverines went on an 8-0 run.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman leads the way with 11 points, including a 4-point play in transition that gave Michigan its first lead since the game's opening moments. D.J. Wilson has 10.
Davon Dillard has nine points off the bench for the Cowboys, the same as Jeffrey Carroll, who scored OSU's first seven points of the game.
A basketball game has finally broken out
Capped by a Zak Irvin 3-pointer, Michigan went on an 8-0 run to erase a seven-point deficit. Both teams continue to go back and forth as the game is starting to find a rhythm.
At the 3:50 mark, OSU leads 32-30.
OSU off an running
Oklahoma State is getting things going on the offensive end, pushing their lead to seven before a Zak Irvin 3-pointer stopped the bleeding. At the 7:51 mark, however, the Cowboys lead 24-18.
Michigan is known for not committing fouls, but the Cowboys are 7-for-7 from the free throw line in the first half. The Wolverines offense hasn't been able to move the ball through the OSU defense and continues to struggle from the field (6-for-20).
Carroll off to a hot start for Cowboys
Jeffrey Carroll is proving to be OSU's biggest source of offense, scoring the first seven points of the game for the Cowboys. Carroll is a guard that can shoot it from the outside and take it to the rim.
The Wolverines are still trying to find a groove on offense, but Derrick Walton hit the first 3-pointer of the game for Michigan after a loose ball foul gave his team an extra possession.
At the 11:55 mark of the first half, it's tied at 11-11.
Offense not a part of the program early on
Michigan's defense looks locked in against a high-scoring Oklahoma State squad early on, forcing two turnover on the first two Cowboy possessions. Both teams look a little shaky early on. The Wolverines are 1-for-7 from the floor, while OSU is 1-for-5.
They're tied 3-3 with 15:49 remaining in the first half.
Mortiz Wagner picked up his second foul at the 16:49 mark and took a seat on the bench. That could be a big loss for the Wolverines going forward as he'll spend most of the first half out of action.
Wolverines look to ride wave of momentum
Michigan is coming off an improbable run to the Big Ten Tournament championship last week, knocking off four opponents in four days after a scary moment involving their team plane held up their arrival to Washington D.C.
Even before last week, the Wolverines were playing some of the best basketball in the country, which has led many to call them the hottest team in the country entering today's round of 64 matchup with Oklahoma State.
Still, anything can happen in March, and John Beilein's team knows they're only one bad game away from having their fairy tale come to an end. Derrick Walton Jr. will have to continue to play like one of the best guards in the country, and Zak Irvin is going to have to continue his resurgence as the Wolverines take on a Cowboys squad that can put up points in a hurry (85 point per game).
The emergence of Moe Wagner and D.J. Wilson are two of the biggest reasons Michigan is in the position they are in right now. After getting a taste of the NCAA Tournament last year, the Wolverines hope their two hybrid big men are ready to step into the spotlight and perform today.
Should Michigan get by Oklahoma State, it would set up a likely rematch of the 2013 National Championship game with Louisville in the round of 32. The second-seeded Cardinals square off with Jacksonville State later this afternoon.
MICHIGAN VS. OKLAHOMA STATE
When: Friday, 12:15 p.m.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
TV / radio: CBS / WWJ 950
Seeds / records: No. 7 Michigan 24-11, No. 10 Oklahoma State 20-12