Let’s Dance and Learn About Tulsa

Ann Arbor– It’s one of the lowest productive weeks of the season, yes,  March Madness is back. The bracket is out, the matchups are set, and Michigan is dancing. The Wolverines (22-12) are a No. 11 seed and will play Tulsa on Wednesday night in Dayton. The winner will face No. 6 Notre Dame on Friday in Brooklyn.

While being wildly debated today, Tulsa’s slipper was very snug being considered the last team in the field being compared to South Carolina, Monmouth and several others. NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Chair, Joe Castiglione, said Tulsa got in because of their four top-50 wins.

Since this will be the first-ever meeting between Tulsa, we got you covered to learn a little more about them.

The Golden Hurricane of Tulsa

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Enrollment: 4,352 full-time students

Mascot: Captain Cane

Conference: American Athletic

Record: 20-11 overall, 12-6 in conference, strength of record at 66th and lowest in tournament.

Best Win/Loss: SMU 82-77 on Feb. 10/Oral Roberts 70-68 on Dec. 5

Last Tournament Appearance: 2014

Tournament History: 15 appearances with four sweet sixteens (1955, 1994, 1995, 2000), one elite eight (2000).

Head Coach: Frank Haith is in his second year missing out last year with a 14-4 AAC record.

Most recent, Tulsa lost to Memphis by 22 points in its opening game in the AAC Tournament. They have a resume built by a quality non-conference win over Witchita State, and conference splits with UConn and SMU. They are one of the most experienced teams in the tournament with four starting seniors and one junior.

Their lack of size accounts for a below average rebounding team at 27.9% of its misses, allowing their opponents to grab 30.4% misses. Their average 69.4 possessions and 16 seconds per possession average will make this a fast paced game. Only nine teams in the country create extra possessions more effectively from turnovers.

They lack a three point threat shooting at 32.9% with only two players above 35%, James Woodward (36%) and Pat Birt (37%). These two account for almost 75% of their made three-pointers this season. Opponents shot 36.3% at the three-point range this season, which is 260th nationally. Woodward is a 6-3 guard averaging 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, who is their overall best player.

Senior Shaquille Harrison is 6-foot-3 and handles most of Tulsa’s ball screens and leads the AAC in assists at 4.1 per game. The others on the team at 6-foot-9 are Brandon Swannegan and D’Andre Wright, the only in rotation over 6-foot-7.

While Tulsa lacks size, they rely on tempo and turnovers to generate close to 70 possessions per game with a very experienced starting lineup. This matchup for Michigan will allow for plenty of shooting, battle for rebounds and second chance points.

Per Vegasinsider.com, Michigan is listed as a three-point favorite. The game will tip at 9:10pm on tru TV.

David Noe