Rapid Reaction: Ohio 65, Michigan 60

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
9:56
PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Breaking down No. 13 seed Ohio University’s 65-60 victory over No. 4 seed Michigan in the second round of the Midwest Regional at Bridgestone Arena:

Overview: Other than the early minutes of the game, Ohio led the whole way in pulling off its second upset of a top-4 seed in the past three NCAA tournaments. The Bobcats knocked off No. 3 Georgetown in 2010.

There wasn’t a lot of mystery to this one. Ohio shot 51.2 percent from the field and held Michigan scoreless in the game’s final four minutes. The Bobcats were able to get good looks at the basket most of the game, and Michigan didn’t have anybody who could stay in front of Ohio junior guard D.J. Cooper.

Ohio led by nine points with eight minutes to play, but Michigan made a run and cut the deficit to 63-60 with a little more than four minutes to play on Trey Burke’s 3-pointer. The Wolverines had several chances to tie the game, but couldn’t make shots down the stretch.

Turning point: After Michigan had pulled within 63-60 on Burke’s 3-pointer, Cooper missed from 3-point range on the other end. But Ohio’s Reggie Keely chased down the long rebound. It was that kind of game. Ohio made the plays when it counted, and Michigan didn’t.

Key player: Cooper was unstoppable for the Bobcats. The Wolverines tried several different defenders on him and did their best to shadow him with two players at times. But when Cooper wanted to penetrate, he usually did. He was also 3-of-6 from 3-point land and finished with a game-high 21 points and five assists.

Key stat: Cooper was 7-of-11 from the field. The Bobcats improved to 7-0 when he shoots at least 50 percent from the field.

Miscellaneous: It was the second consecutive shaky outing for Michigan point guard Burke, the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year. He was 5-of-15 from the field and 2-of-9 from 3-point range. In the Wolverines’ Big Ten tournament loss to Ohio State, he was 1-of-11 from the field and 0-of-7 from behind the arc. … Evan Smotrycz came off the bench to score 15 points for Michigan. It was only his fourth double-digit outing since Jan. 1. … Smotrycz’s turnover when he lost the ball off the dribble with 6.8 seconds left was the final blow for the Wolverines (24-10). ... Michigan's two senior guards, Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, were a combined 1-of-7 from the field.

What’s next: Ohio (28-7) will move into the third round on Sunday and face the winner of the Temple-South Florida game. Those two teams play the late game Friday in Nashville.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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