Bing Predicts winner: Oregon (79 percent)
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Opening line: MICH -1
Tipoff time: 7:09 p.m. EST (Thursday)
It its first round game against Michigan, Oklahoma State shot 54.7 percent from the field, had only 10 turnovers and out-rebounded Michigan 40-21 -- yet still lost the game, 92-91. That's because the Wolverines absolutely lost their minds from behind the arc, making 16 3-pointers -- including 11 in the second half. The trio of guards Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman shot a combined 13-for-21 on 3-point attempts but went just 6-for-14 on all other shots.
Michigan cooled off against Louisville, making only six 3-pointers, but the common thread in both games was that the Wolverines took care of the ball. Michigan had just four turnovers against Oklahoma State and six versus the Cardinals.
That efficiency will be put to the test against the Ducks. Oregon features four players averaging more than a steal per game and are anchored by Pac-12 defensive player of the year Jordan Bell. The Ducks defend the 3-point line exceptionally well, ranking 22nd nationally in opponents' 3-point shooting (31.3 percent). Among the top 25 in that category, only three teams had to defend more 3-point shots than the Ducks did this season (796), so Oregon should be prepared for Michigan's bombs-away mentality.
Offensively, the Ducks will lean on Pac-12 player of the year and clutch-shot extraordinaire Dillon Brooks, but it's guard Tyler Dorsey who will likely be the focus of Michigan's perimeter defense. Dorsey has been white-hot this postseason, scoring at least 21 points in each of his last five games dating back to the start of the Pac-12 tournament. In Oregon's second-round nail-biter against Rhode Island, Dorsey shot 9-for-10 for a team-high 27 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with less than a minute remaining.
The X-factor for Michigan will be forward Moritz Wagner. He and D.J. Wilson -- listed at 6-foot-11 and 6-foot-10, respectively -- form a front line with enough size to handle Oregon's length and athleticism. Wagner was ineffective against Oklahoma State but erupted for 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting against Louisville. The loss of Chris Boucher -- who tore his ACL during the conference tournament -- will hurt the Ducks greatly in this regard, as Boucher averaged a team-leading 2.5 blocks per game.
Shutting Wagner down makes Michigan more one-dimensional on offense. While the Wolverines have proven capable of lighting it up from behind the arc, Oregon is miles better defensively than Oklahoma State and should be able to limit the damage Michigan's guards can inflict on the perimeter. The Ducks are the pick here to return to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year.