Michigan leans on poise, experience against Louisville press

Pablo Tucker
March 19, 2017

How they got here: Louisville beat Jacksonville State 78-63 in the first round; MI topped Oklahoma State 92-91.

UM took their second lead of the game with eight minutes remaining at 53-51.

Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots over MI guard Zak Irvin (21) during the first half of a second-round game in the men's NCAA college basketball tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Kicking off the game, Mitchell buried a step-back three in transition. Snider is the primary three-point threat, shooting 42% since his return.

Wagner had a career-high 26 points to lead the Wolverines to the win. Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin both played key roles on the 2014 team which made the Elite 8.

The Wolverines went on a 8-3 run to tie the game at 28. U-M can prepare for him because he is long and lanky like Wagner and Wilson. His ability to knock down 3s will be crucial, but his defensive matchup against Deng Adel (6-7, 16 points vs. JSU) could be the difference maker.

As usual, Louisville goes deeper on its roster, needing bodies for its up-tempo style.

The Cardinals have reached the Sweet 16 in five of the past six years. A block of Mitchell's three capped the game. "They're extremely well coached at the fundamentals of the game, and then they have as tough a point guard as there is in the college game from a mental standpoint".

The game between OR and Rhode Island could be one big block party. North Carolina and Duke are the only ACC teams still competing for the title. The Wake Forest loss is curious.

"Anybody can go and have a huge game, so, knowing that I think it takes a lot off Coach Beilein not having to put so much pressure on one guy - just knowing that we can get each other shots in the flow of the game". In the 2013 Final Four, guard Tim Henderson entered the national semifinals against Wichita State averaging 6.5 minutes per game. "He patronized me for one sentence, and I took the job without talking contract or money", Pitino said, smiling. They're going to play hard pressure, sometimes soft pressure. His teams revolve around their style, the stifling defense and attacking offense. MI will be a much bigger threat to Louisville.

Balado has been an assistant on Rick Pitino's staff the last four years. Head coach Rick Pitino is seen on the sidelines during the first half of a first-round game against Jacksonville State in the men's NCAA college basketball tournament Friday, March 17, 2017, in Indianapolis, Mo. "They could very well, with a break here this season be a No. 1 seed", Coach Beilein said.

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