Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of undefeated teams square off in the Progressive Legends Classic at the Barclays Center on Monday night when the Michigan Wolverines tangle with the Oregon Ducks.
Michigan has faced three opponents and has taken them all down. The Wolverines got the season started with an appetizer against Hillsdale College (92-68) before topping Bucknell (77-53) and Detroit (71-62) in the Ann Arbor Regional of this event.
Oregon is sporting a 3-0 mark as well, and the team dominated Coppin State, 107-65, in the season opener, before trouncing Detroit (83-66) and Toledo (78-68) during the Eugene Regional of the Classic.
Michigan claimed a 78-53 victory over Oregon in the semifinals of the 2004 NIT. Michigan, which went on to win that tournament, has won all three meetings with the Ducks over the years. The winner of this one will meet whichever team survives the tussle between Villanova and VCU.
The Wolverines started slow but finished strong in their win over Detroit. They trailed, 28-27, at the half after shooting just 34.5 percent from the field in the opening period. They picked up the pace to rally in the second frame, netting 54.2 percent, including a 6-of-12 effort from beyond the arc. They earned a 37-25 advantage on the boards, which proved useful as well. Caris Levert finished with 21 points to lead the way.
During its 3-0 start, Michigan is scoring an impressive 80 points per game, while sinking 47.1 percent from the field and 45.9 percent from 3-point range. Zak Irvin (20.7 ppg) has actually been the most prolific scorer and shooter for the team. Not only has he made 53.7 percent of his field goal tries, but he has converted 11-of-21 shots from beyond the arc as well. Derrick Walton Jr. (17.7 ppg) is a fine scorer in his own right, as is LeVert (15.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg), who leads the team in rebounds (23) and assists (18) as well. Max Bielfeldt (11 ppg) has provided a spark in two appearances off the bench.
Oregon's starters were at the top of their game against Toledo, combining to score 62 of the team's 78 total points. The Ducks did not shoot all that well in the game (.413), but they did knock down 20-of-24 attempts at the free- throw line, while securing a 46-36 edge on the glass. Jordan Bell swatted four shots, as part of a seven-block effort by the defense. Joseph Young led the team in scoring yet again with 24 points.
The Ducks are doing even more on offense than Michigan, scoring 89.3 points per game on 47.8 percent field goal efficiency. Young (26 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5 apg) is the major contributor to the offensive attack, earning his way to a team- high in points on a 50 percent success rate from the field. Elgin Cook (12.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Dillon Brooks (12.7 ppg) are tied for second on the team in scoring. Cook tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds against Toledo, while Brooks finished with 10 points and five assists. Dwayne Benjamin turned in an 11- point, 12-rebound effort in the victory as well.