James Hawkins, Matt Charboneau, Bob Wojnowski and John Niyo of Detroit News offer their predictions on Thursday night's Michigan-Oregon NCAA Tournament game.
James Hawkins: If there’s one thing Michigan has proven over its first two NCAA Tournament wins, it’s that the Wolverines can adapt and adjust to their opponent. Without shot blocker Chris Boucher, Oregon has turned to a small ball approach that will test Moritz Wagner and D.J. Wilson’s ability to defend smaller, quicker forwards. But once it starts getting this deep into March, guard play rises to the top and Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr. is playing like a man on a mission. Michigan 74-71
Matt Charboneau: While Michigan is rolling, Oregon is almost as hot, winning 10 of its last 11 games, with its only loss coming to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament. Both teams can score in bunches, which makes defense critical as the team that can get a few stops could come out on top. That team should be Michigan, which will create plenty of matchup issues with Moritz Wagner and D.J. Wilson while riding the leadership of seniors Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin. Michigan, 86-78
Bob Wojnowski: Oregon is explosive, quick and can shoot, led by Dillon Brooks and scorching-hot Tyler Dorsey. But the Ducks are missing 6-foot-10 inside force Chris Boucher because of a knee injury, and that should open things up for Michigan’s big guys, Moritz Wagner and D.J. Wilson. With Boucher, the Ducks are a top-five team in the country. Without him, they’re vulnerable defensively, and the Wolverines feast on vulnerable defenses. Michigan, 79-74
John Niyo: I’m not sure how the Wolverines will stop Dillon Brooks or who’ll keep a hand in Tyler Dorsey’s face. But Michigan showed it can outscore just about anybody. Michigan, 78-72