13-Seed Ohio Upsets Michigan: Rapid Reaction

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Two years ago, the 14-seed Ohio Bobcats pulled off an impressive upset over 3-seed Georgetown. So when the Bobcats knocked off 4-seed Michigan in this year’s tournament, it wasn’t as much of a surprise.

The Bobcats shot 51.2 percent from the field, and didn’t allow Michigan to get into a rhythm on offense for most of the night. The Wolverines were held scoreless in the game’s final four minutes.

Bobcats’ guard D.J. Cooper was instrumental in their second upset over a top-five seed in the last two years. Cooper went 7-11 from the field, finishing with 21 points. Most importantly, though, he outplayed Trey Burke, who followed up his abysmal 1-11 performance in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament by going 5-15 and hit just two of his nine three-point tries.

Ohio had a sizeable lead for most of this game. The Wolverines got within four after a Burke three with a little more than four minutes to play, but they couldn’t make enough shots down the stretch to close the gap.

The one bright spot in the Wolverines’ loss was Evan Smotrycz, who went 6-7 from the field and finished with 15 points.

Michigan was the better team and they should have won this game. But Ohio was simply a bad matchup. The Wolverines have relied on the three-point shot all season, and they went just 7-23 in that category on Friday night. Credit Ohio’s stingy perimeter defense; the Bobcats stifled Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. all night. The Wolverines’ usually-reliable scoring duo was rendered ineffective.

 

 

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