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Derrick Walton's last-second potential game-winner vs. Oregon in the Sweet 16 was a near miss. Would you rather it had gone in if that meant trading for Jordan Poole's buzzer-beater against Houston?

Live in Michigan’s present: There’s no trading Jordan Poole’s buzzer-beater for Derrick Walton Jr.’s shot

Kevin Goheen

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Wolverines answer questions on the minds of Michigan fans. Submit a question or suggest a topic by sending a tweet here to Rachel Lenzi or here to Kevin Goheen. Check back Monday through Friday as we answer the Michigan Question of the Day. Go here to see our previous answers.


Great question. Tempting. Tantalizing. A sports version of Let’s Make a Deal and @MichiganManMMQ is playing the role of Monty Hall (or Wayne Brady for you kids today).

I’m sticking with the here and now. I’m keeping Jordan Poole’s shot to beat Houston in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last Saturday night in Wichita, Kan., over the chance to see Derrick Walton Jr.’s step-back, 3-point shot against Oregon in the Sweet 16 last year in Kansas City have just a little extra to make it over the rim, through the net and send the Wolverines to the Elite Eight.

Oregon beat Kansas 74-60 in the Elite Eight to earn a trip to the Final Four, where it suffered its own heartbreak with a 77-76 defeat to eventual national champion North Carolina. Would Michigan have had a similar fate? We don’t know if the Wolverines would have continued their fabulous run and beaten Kansas, let alone gotten a shot against North Carolina. We never will.

I’ll take the present, thank you very much.

These Wolverines have a chance to do something special because of the execution and poise exhibited by Isaiah Livers, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Poole.

Michigan faces Texas A&M Thursday night in Los Angeles at the Staples Center in another Sweet 16 matchup. The winner advances to the West Regional final on Saturday against either Florida State or Gonzaga. Michigan is the highest-seeded team left in region, No. 3, but seeds have shown to have little significance in this tournament. Texas A&M is No. 7 but beat No. 2 North Carolina by 21 points on Sunday. No. 9 Florida State rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half to knock off No. 1 Xavier. Gonzaga survived its No. 4 seeding and is looking for a second straight trip to the Final Four.

I’ll take the possibilities of what’s to come in the next few days over what could’ve been a year ago.

Walton Jr. and those Wolverines were a joy ride to watch and will be forever remembered for what they did. The team this season is an extension of that team, and it plays better defense.

Thanks, Monty, but I’m keeping Poole’s shot.

Read more answers to questions about the Michigan Wolverines here