Ducks end Michigan's run with 69-68 victory, head to Elite 8

NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament: Walton, Wolverines Fall Short In Loss To Oregon

Guard Tyler Dorsey has recorded four straight games over 20 points, including 27 against the Rams.

The Oregon Ducks clinched the first spot in the Elite Eight after they defeated the Michigan Wolverines on Thursday night in Kansas City, 69-68, in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

A Dylan Ennis layup in the final seconds of the half sent the Ducks to the locker room up 35-33. "They've been finding me, and all I've been doing is spotting up and making the simple play and the right play, the right basketball play", Dorsey said. But he missed a double-pump shot just before Dorsey hit the go-ahead bucket, and his step-back jumper caught the front of the rim and bounced away as time expired. The Ducks average almost 80 points a game, and sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey has been lighting up the scoreboard of late, scoring 20-plus points in each of his last five games, all postseason tilts, and averaging 23.6 points a game over that stretch.

MI had a chance to win it. Derrick Walton Jr. got the separation he needed (probably more than he was expecting) and launched a shot right at the 3-point line, but it hit the front of the rim and ricocheted to the right.

It was the end of the road for the Wolverines (26-12).

"I watched their (75-72) win over Rhode Island (on Sunday)", Michigan coach John Beilein said on WTKA's "Michigan Insider" on Monday. "Overall I just thank them for allowing me to be part of such a great team".

But they marched through the seven-game winning streak, the Wolverines proved worthy of the respect on the court, not just the story line off it. "We weren't as sharp as we would have liked to have been today, but you have to credit OR with that".

The fourth-ranked Terrapins (32-2), who lead the nation in scoring offense (90.1 points per game), cruised into the Sweet 16 with lopsided wins over Bucknell (103-61) and No. 22 West Virginia (83-56). Brooks added 12 points and Ennis had 10.

Walton led No. 7 seed MI (26-12) with 20 points. MI relied on 3-pointers once more - accounting for more than half of the Wolverines' shots - but its soft touch didn't resurface until back-to-back 3-pointers by D.J. Wilson and Walton, which put the Wolverines up, 61-60, and another by Zak Irvin to re-take the lead again.

Oregon, meanwhile, looked like a team more than ready to contend for a national championship until dynamic scorer and defender Chris Boucher was ruled out for the season with a torn ACL he suffered during the Pac-12 Tournament. OR had plenty of inside game without Boucher, outscoring the Wolverines 34-16 in the lane and outrebounding them 36-31.

They made 6 of Michigan's final 7 shots on the night, willing the Wolverines to a late 68-65 lead.

Ryan Cline's 3-pointer got Purdue within 58-54 with 14:39 to go when the Jayhawks ripped off their game-defining run.

"It was defense, and rebounding, and offensive rebounding", Oregon's Tyler Dorsey told CBS after the game.

"We have a play that we practice on, if one of us misses a free throw".

"Last year our league was so much better than what we performed in the tournament", KU coach Bill Self said.

As sad as it was to watch the season come to an end, it wouldn't be appropriate to wrap this up without giving due praise to Walton and Irvin, who pretty much single-handedly kept MI in the game in the second half-and then eventually gave the Wolverines the lead. On Michigan's final possession, things did not go the way OR wanted, other than the end result. Not only that, but OR had fouls to give on the game's final possession, couldn't foul Walton in time, and it would've been agonizing for OR fans had the game ended on a buzzer-beater on a blown opportunity. "Dylan Ennis had an opportunity there".

Although the Wolverines got a little more help in the second frame, OR turned out to have a bit more depth and staved off the upset down the stretch. "I was just watching the ball in the air hoping it didn't go in".

The Jayhawks will play No. 3 seed OR, which survived a nail-biter earlier in the night, on Saturday night for a spot in their first Final Four since 2012.

It didn't come easily. OR only attempted eight 3-point shots in the first half, and most of those came late in the half.

Mathews, Przemek Karnowski and Johnathan Williams all had 13 points to lead the Bulldogs.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - It took about 10 minutes for Kansas guards Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham to slow down, gain their composure and get everything under control in their Midwest Regional semifinal. When Walton found a streaking Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman at the 6:55 mark, MI held its largest lead of the half at 21-17.

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