MI advances to Sunday in Indianapolis to meet the victor between Louisville and Jacksonville State, likely the ACC powerhouse Cardinals.
With less than three minutes left in regulation, Oklahoma State was scoring 1.47 points per possession in the second half and MI 1.63, according to Gasaway. Unlike last season when Minnesota lost to MI in the championship game and missed the NCAA Tournament, the Gophers are safely in the field of 16 this season.
The seventh-seeded Michigan Wolverines (24-11) met the 10th-seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-12) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2017 (3/17/17) at Banker Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jawun Evans, who hit a long three-pointer as time expired to create the final score and cover the 2.5-point spread, paced Oklahoma State with 23 points and 11 assists, but the Cowboys shot 7 of 16 from three-point range and couldn't keep up with the hot-shooting Wolverines in the second half, which was perhaps the most entertaining 20 minutes of the entire tournament so far. Bridges averages 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds while Ward scores 13.7 and grabs 6.5 rebounds. Their pace rating of 72.9 is the fourth fastest of any team in the tournament, while Michigan's 63.7 is the second slowest. The only disappointment is that it was played at such a high level that it's unfortunate that one of these teams, Oklahoma State in this case, has to be sent home after just one game.
After starting slowly, Louisville handled Jacksonville State, 78-63, Friday afternoon in the Midwest Regional. Hundreds of thousands of dollars changed hands on one shot in Michigan's 92-91 win.
The NCAA rewarded MI with a tough 7th seed. Even in the end, Oklahoma State wouldn't go quietly, scoring 10 points in the final 44 seconds - although the final buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Evans was only of interest to those in Vegas who leaned toward the Pokes.
In the second round of the 2016-17 NCAA Tournament, No. 2 Louisville will take on No. 7 MI in Indianapolis.
U-M hit 11 of its first 15 three-pointers after halftime, burying the Cowboys in their best shooting game in nearly two months. Also, they get 40 percent of their offensive rebounds. Probably not the position you want to be in headed into the Big Ten tournament, but what do I know? Everybody hears stories about the team that ruins a 20-point cover by going for a field goal down 21, or the basketball team that fouled for no reason at the end of a game and giving their opponent just enough points to cover, but this one hurts.
Then they beat a strong Minnesota team and Big Ten runner-up Wisconsin to win the Big Ten tournament title - the lowest-seeded team ever to win it and the first time for the Wolverines in 19 years.
"We had enough firepower to withstand their incredible offensive talent and get enough points", MI coach John Beilein said.
3-pointers: Team (.384); Derrick Walton Jr.
Michigan State is always risky in March with Tom Izzo and the team has the raw talent to make something happen, but the Spartans have been too inconsistent this season, especially away from East Lansing.
The Miami Hurricanes and Michigan State Spartans take to the floor in NCAA Tournament action on Friday night. She is top on our team in assists, she gets to the free throw line, and she does a lot of things to make our team better. What that means is that the matchups we can expect are going to be very interesting, especially early on in the tournament.
It was the last game for Cowboy seniors Phil Forte III and Leyton Hammonds.