In early February, Michigan had lost five of its last eight games and fell to 14-9 overall and 4-6 in the Big Ten.
Once the game ended and OR had narrowly advanced with a hard-fought NCAA Tournament win, Tyler Dorsey considered his two missed free throws with 3:36 left and how there might have been no celebrations at all. In their first game without him in the lineup, the Ducks struggled to get stops, allowing 83 points on 58% shooting in the PAC-12 title game against Arizona.
Rhode Island was up with the Ducks among the top defensive teams in the nation, but OR was not making use of its clear advantage offensively.
Dorsey paced the Ducks, shooting 9-of-10 with a game-high 27 points, good for his fifth straight game north of 20 points. Meanwhile, it's another hurdle cleared for OR, which survived without injured 6-foot-10 rim protector Chris Boucher and despite allowing URI's Stanford Robinson to score 21 points off the bench.
Rhode Island committed a critical turnover with just under a minute remaining and OR took advantage.
Rhode Island's remarkable late-season run has come to end, but it remains a massive success for coach Danny Hurley to get the Rams back to the tourney, with an A-10 trophy, too. OR has taken 24 of 32 (75 percent) catch-and-shoot opportunities unguarded, per Synergy Sports, scoring 1.08 points per shot. Take that element away from OR, and it's a big blow.
The Ducks also won't get as many open looks as they have through the first two rounds. With 3:14 on the clock, Jared Terrell hit a jumper to make it 70-68 URI.
Dylan Ennis drew a foul with 2:01 left, making one of two free throws to cut the lead down to 72-69. Dorsey hit his third big 3-pointer with 1:48 left and the game was tied at 72. Bell leads in rebounds with 8.1 while Payton Pritchard leads in assists with 3.9 per game.
Robinson, a transfer from IN who sat out last season, responded after being held to two points on 1-for-5 shooting against Creighton.
OR shot 48.1 percent from the field, made 7 of 16 from 3-point range and amassed a 35-28 rebounding advantage. The streak-shooting sophomore is heating up at the right time, having scored 21 or more points in all five of Oregon's postseason games. Dorsey drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to put the Ducks up, and Matthews missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds, sending OR to the Sweet 16 for the third time in five years.
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