No. 2 seed Michigan takes on No. 11 Tennessee as it tries to return to the NCAA Tournament championship game for a second straight year. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Follow Geoff Robinson on our blog as he provides live game updates.
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The Wolverines have advanced to the Elite 8 for the second straight season after a nail-biting 73-71 victory over Tennessee. Michigan got up by as much as 15 in the second half, but they made their fans sweat as the Volunteers cut the lead to one with 10 seconds left to play.
Up three, Glenn Robinson III threw the ball into the middle of the court where players from both teams dove to recover it. Tennessee ended up with the ball and Jordan McCrae scored. Michigan then turned the ball over again when Caris LeVert fumbled away an inbounds pass. The Volunteers had the ball with 9.6 seconds left to play down just a point when Jarnell Stokes ran over Jordan Morgan for the charge. Tennessee then deflected the next two Michigan inbounds passes to run three seconds off of the clock that read six seconds at the start of the possession. Nik Stauskas knocked down two free throws to seal the deal as Tennessee missed on a last-second heave.
Michigan played great defense in the first half, but Tennessee did whatever they wanted on offense for the final ten minutes of the game. They were sparked by McCrae, who scored a game-high 24 points.
The Wolverines won because of the way they played in the first 30 minutes. They didn’t finish well, but in the tournament, it’s survive and advance.
Morgan stepped up big, playing solid defense all game and drawing a charge when his team needed it most. He scored a team-high 15 points. Stauskas scored 14 and Glenn Robinson III scored 13.
Nik Stauskas and Jordan Morgan have made a couple big shots, but Tennessee is not going away. The Wolverines defense is not doing the job it did in the first half and the Michigan lead is down to five at 72-67 with 1:37 left to play.
Derrick Walton Jr. hit a big 3-pointer after the Volunteers cut the Wolverines’ lead to six and Tennessee missed a golden opportunity to get it back to seven when Darius Thompson missed a layup from point-blank range. The teams exchanged baskets after that, but that’s not going to get it done for the Volunteers as they try to come back.
Michigan is struggling on offense, but they are doing just enough to hang on as the game winds down. They lead 67-60 with 3:53 left to play.
The Volunteers put together an 8-0 run to cut the Wolverines’ lead to seven before Jordan Morgan backed down his defender and dropped a soft hook through the basket. The senior has done his part to keep his team in the lead, but he needs his teammates to step up and knock down a few shots to put this game away.
Michigan leads 62-53 with 7:02 left to play.
Michigan was out to its biggest lead of the game, but Tennessee is still not letting go of its Elite 8 hopes.
The Wolverines were up by 15 until a 6-0 Volunteers run finally got them to within single digits. Armani Moore has two layups on the last two Tennessee possessions.
Michigan leads 60-51 with 8:50 left to play.
The Volunteers have switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense, but that not may be so smart on their part. After cutting the Wolverines’ lead to 10, the zone defense allowed Zak Irvin to knocked down an open 3-pointer and push the lead back to 13.
Michigan leads 57-44 with 11:41 left to play.
Jordan Morgan had two buckets and two monster blocks to open the second half, but Tennessee continues to hang around.
Morgan’s play has been a huge boost for his team so far in this game (11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks). The senior is showing the world he doesn’t want his career to end quite yet.
Michigan leads 54-41 with 14:25 left to play.
Glenn Robinson knocked down his first 3-pointer of the night and is 5-for-7 from the floor with 13 points.
The Wolverines put their foot on the gas in the latter part of the first half and they lead the Volunteers 45-34 at halftime in Indianapolis.
3-point shooting is what got Michigan going (7-for-9 ), but now they’re using the respect they’ve earned from outside to get into the lane and finish at the basket.
A lot of people thought the Wolverines would struggle guarding the Volunteers in the paint, but Jordan Morgan has done a nice job holding his own against Vols star Jarnell Stokes (four points).
Tennessee gives up just 61 points per game on the season, but they have provided very little resistance to an extremely hot Michigan offense. That said, the game is still very much alive for the Volunteers. The Wolverines are going to have to continue to put out the kind of effort they displayed in the first half if they want to move on to the Elite 8.
Caris LeVert has 10 points to lead Michigan, while Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III have eight apiece.
Josh Richardson has a game-high 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting for Tennessee.
Nik Stauskas threw the ball off the backboard to himself and found Derrick Walton Jr. in the corner where the freshman was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. Walton hit all three free throws and Michigan is starting to look like the more comfortable team. They have gotten contributions from everybody on the offensive end, and Jordan Morgan continues to hold his own down against a formidable Tennessee front line.
Michigan leads 34-25 with 5:15 remaining in the first half.
The Volunteers took a short-lived lead until Zak Irvin came into the game and knocked down two 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put the Wolverines out in front.
Michigan is 5-for-6 from behind the arc and leads 26-21 with 7:43 remaining in the first half.
The Wolverines are shooting well, but so are the Volunteers. Neither team is showing nerves on the offensive end of the floor, and Michigan is 6-for-9 from the floor, while Tennessee is 7-for-10. All five Wolverines starters have scored.
Michigan has forced Vols forward Jeronne Maymon to the bench with two early fouls.
This game is shaping up to be very entertaining. The Wolverines lead 18-16 with 11:42 remaining in the first half.
Glenn Robinson III got to the basket on the first possession of the game to get the Wolverines out to a 2-0 lead, but Tennessee scored the next five points. Caris LeVert answered the short run with a 3-pointer of his own and both teams have settled into this game early.
The Wolverines are 3-for-3 from 3-point land and lead 13-7 with 15:49 remaining in the first half.
Mitch McGary is on the court warming up with his teammates for the first time since December, but the team insists he will not get any playing time tonight in its Sweet 16 match up with the Volunteers. The Wolverines’ pre-season All-American is eligible to play because he is listed in the official score book for tonight.
Not really sure what this means. The team could just be trying to get him ready for Sunday should they advance past Tennessee tonight.
The wait is over for Wolverine basketball fans as the team is ready to do battle against a tough Volunteers squad with a berth in the Elite 8 on the line.
Tennessee isn’t a highly-ranked team, but the Wolverines won’t be fooled by the 11-seed next to their opponents name.
The Volunteers have some big boys, and they’re one of the hottest teams in the country. Michigan will try to shoot its way back into the Elite 8, but if they don’t hit the boards and put up at least respectable rebounding numbers against the Vols, they’re going to find themselves in trouble.
Nik Stauskas and company are going to need to hit some tough jumpers if they want to score against a stingy Tennessee defense that limits opponents to just 61 points per game.
The Wolverines will also have to figure out how to stop Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes, two big-time scorers for the Vols.
Last year’s run through March means that Michigan has the edge in experience. If they stay poised and play together, they’ll find themselves one step closer to a return trip to the Final Four.