Oregon was yet to play a true road game. Michigan was undefeated at home.
The Ducks came through anyway.
Payton Pritchard scored 23 points and Anthony Mathis knocked down six threes, leading Oregon to a thrilling 71-70 overtime win over Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday.
The Wolverines had several chances to tie or score go-ahead baskets as time drained down. David DeJulius, Zavier Simpson and Brandon Johns Jr. each missed shots with under 15 seconds remaining that could have put Michigan ahead for good.
G Payton Pritchard: 23 points (11-19 FG), 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals
G Anthony Mathis: 19 points (6-10 FG), 4 rebounds
G Chris Duarte: 11 points (3-7 FG), 6 rebounds
G Franz Wagner: 21 points (8-13 FG), 4 rebounds
G David DeJulius: 14 points (5-9 FG), 2 steals
F Isaiah Livers: 13 points (5-12 FG), 5 rebounds
Oregon Compiling Impressive Non-Conference Resume
This was Oregon's fifth game against a team ranked 13th or higher. The Ducks are 3-2 in those contests, and their two losses came by a combined five points. They managed to overcome 16 turnovers by knocking down 50.9 percent of their shots, including an 8-of-16 mark from beyond the arc.
Five players average at least 8.8 points per game, and Pritchard is emerging as an early contender for Pac-12 Player of the Year.
RPI has the Pac-12 as the fourth-best conference in the nation to this point. Oregon, Arizona and Colorado are clearly the top teams through the non-conference season, though it's fair to show some trepidation about a Buffaloes team that lost at home to Northern Iowa on Wednesday.
If Oregon continues this level of play and wins the Pac-12, that should combine with its non-conference schedule strength to give it a shot at a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in March.
Michigan, Welcome to Mean Regression
After wins over Gonzaga and North Carolina in the Battle 4 Atlantis, Michigan ascended to No. 4 in the country after being unranked after its 5-0 start. The Wolverines set an Associated Press record for the largest leap from outside the Top 25. In their blowout win over Gonzaga, they looked like perhaps the best offensive team in the country.
Then the shots stopped falling. And they haven't fallen since.
Louisville's defense squeezed the life out of the Wolverines in their first major road test, then they shot 3-of-18 from three in another road loss to Illinois. While there was a strong home outing in a win over Iowa sandwiched between those losses, Michigan entered Saturday very much trying to recapture its offensive identity.
The Wolverines owe Saturday's loss in large part to their offensive failures in the first half. They scored just seven points in the first 10 minutes and went into halftime trailing 31-23. A 40-point second half helped force overtime, but Michigan again went cold in the extra session, missing on a series of offensive rebounds.
This should have been expected. There was a reason Michigan went into the preseason unranked and why the voters didn't believe in them until the Battle 4 Atlantis. The talent level is far closer to a fifth or sixth seed than the fifth- or sixth-best team in the nation.