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OSU basketball: Remember Duncan Robinson?

OSU basketball hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2009.

The Cowboys have had some interesting March Madness games since beating Tennessee 77-75 in 2009.

OSU lost 84-76 to top-seeded Pittsburgh in 2009, to 10th-seeded Georgia Tech 64-59 in 2010, to 12th-seeded Oregon 68-55 in 2013, to eighth-seeded Gonzaga 85-77 in 2014, to eighth-seeded Oregon 79-73 in 2015 and to seventh-seeded Michigan 92-91 in 2017.

The latter game was a classic. The Wolverines led 41-40 at halftime. Each team scored 51 points in the second half.

That was Brad Underwood’s final game. The next day, he became head coach at Illinois. No wonder the Illini wanted him; Underwood’s team played magnificent offense.

OSU shot 54.7 percent from the field, made seven of 16 3-point shots and 14 of 16 foul shots. The Cowboys committed just 10 turnovers.

Point guard Jawun Evans had 23 points and 12 assists. Jeffrey Carroll made six of eight shots and scored 19 points. OSU got 12 points each from Phil Forte III and Davon Dillard, and 10 points from Leyton Hammonds.

But Michigan played even better offense. The Wolverines shot 51.8 percent from the field and made 16 of 29 3-point shots.

And there’s a reason why Michigan was so good that day. The Wolverines had big-time players.

Four Wolverines off that team are in the NBA.

Point guard Derrick Walton Jr. was the Michigan leader, and he was great against OSU. He made seven of 13 shots that day, scored 26 points and had 11 assists. Walton now is with the Los Angeles Clippers, though he seldom plays.

Power forward D.J. Wilson had 19 points against OSU. Wilson has spent three seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks; in 11 games this year, he’s averaged 5.2 points a game. Wilson scored 19 points in a game against the Knickerbockers last week.

German center Mo Wagner didn’t play well against OSU – Mitch Solomon had that effect on people. Wagner had just six points in 14 minutes against the Cowboys. But Wagner played in 43 games for the Lakers last season, and this season has played 21 games for the Wizards, averaging 11.6 points and 6.0 rebounds. Wagner had 30 points in a November game at Minnesota.

But the star of that Michigan class is Duncan Robinson. Robinson played 19 minutes against OSU that day 2-1/2 years ago, scoring eight points.

Robinson played 15 games for the Miami Heat last season, but now he’s become a Miami sensation.

Tuesday night, Robinson scored 34 points and made 10 of 14 3-point shots, igniting a Heat comeback against Atlanta.

The Hawks led 117-111 with 59 seconds left in the game. But Robinson nailed a 3-pointer with 54.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Butler did the same with 29.8 seconds left and Miami got to overtime.

In OT, the Heat scored the first 15 points and won going away. Robinson started the overtime barrage with 3-pointer 17 seconds into overtime. He added another later as Miami finished off a 135-121 victory.

Robinson, a 6-foot-7 wing who went undrafted in 2018, had started 19 of 24 games for Miami, averaging 11.8 points and shooting 44.9 percent from 3-point range. In the latter category, Robinson ranks sixth in the NBA among players with at least 75 attempts.

Robinson is a great story. He grew up in New Hampshire and led Williams College to the 2014 NCAA Division III championship game. Robinson then decided to try a bigger stage and transferred to Michigan.

You know the rest. That was a wildly-talented Michigan team. The Cowboys, with a roster that now has totaled 56 NBA games (all by Evans), played them tough.

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Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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