March 28, 2014
Site: Indianapolis, Ind. (Lucas Oil Stadium)
Event: NCAA Tournament (Sweet Sixteen)
Score: #7 Michigan 73, Tennessee 71
Records: U-M (28-8), TENN (24-13)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 30 -- vs. Kentucky - NCAA Elite Eight (Indianapolis, Ind.), 5:05 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The No. 2-seeded University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 7 AP, No. 8 ESPN/USA Today) survived a last-minute comeback attempt from No. 11 seed Tennessee and held on for a 73-71 victory on Friday night (March 28) inside Lucas Oil Stadium to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
The Wolverines led by as many as 15 points in the second half, and graduate student Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) drew an offensive foul with six seconds left when the Volunteers had a chance to take the lead with the score at 72-71.
Michigan had four double-digit scorers, led by Morgan with 15 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) finished with 14 points, and his classmate Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) had 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Fellow sophomore Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) ended with 10 points and five assists in the nail-biter win.
Tennessee cut Michigan's lead to 62-56 with less than seven minutes remaining in the game, before freshman Derrick Walton Jr. (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park Academy) hit a triple to put U-M back up nine. Stauskas then drained a three minutes later to make the score 70-60, and Tennessee made consecutive baskets to make U-M's lead six points. Morgan dunked on Michigan's next possession, but a UT three-point play immediately after made it 72-67 with 1:56 to go, the closest the Volunteers had come within the lead since the first half.
Josh Richardson's shot off the glass brought Tennessee within three points with 26 seconds left, and the Volunteers forced a Michigan turnover off the inbound. A steal from Tennessee and a subsequent layup resulted in a 72-71 U-M advantage. Sophomore Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon Prep [Mass.]) inbounded the ball to LeVert after the basket, but LeVert stepped out of bounds, giving Tennessee possession with 9.6 seconds left.
However, Morgan drew an offensive foul, and the Wolverines got the ball back with 6.0 seconds left. Unable to inbound the ball, U-M called timeout, before Albrecht passed to Robinson at half court, and the ball was knocked out of bounds with 4.3 seconds remaining. Tennessee again knocked the ball out of bounds on the inbound with 2.9 ticks left, but Stauskas caught the next inbound pass and, with 2.1 seconds to go, was sent to the line, where he made the first free throw and missed the second. Tennessee's last-ditch, half-court heave sailed over the backboard, giving Michigan the victory.
Less than five minutes into the game, Michigan gained a 15-7 lead following an 8-0 run that lasted 1:31, and its lead swelled to 34-25 with 5:15 left. Morgan threw down a dunk off a pick-and-roll to give the Wolverines a 45-32 advantage with 1:10 left, but a Tennessee layup with 23 ticks left put it 45-34 going into the break.
Michigan shot 16-of-26 (62 percent) in the first half and made seven of its nine attempts from three (78 percent). Tennessee went 14-of-28 (50 percent) from the floor and shot 3-of-8 (38 percent) from beyond the arc. Richardson scored 14 first-half points, and LeVert had 10 points at the intermission.
Albrecht made a layup at 10:57 of the second half to put U-M up, 60-45, before Tennessee scored six straight to cut the deficit to single digits. Two straight Volunteer baskets made the score 60-51 and forced Michigan to call timeout with 8:50 left in the game. The Volunteers scored again out of the break to come within seven points of U-M, but then Morgan scored in the post to end the team's scoring drought.
The Wolverines shot 27-of-49 (55 percent) for the game, going 11-of-20 (55 percent) from long distance. Tennessee was 30-of-57 (53 percent) on the night and made only three of its 11 shots from downtown (27 percent). Jordan McCrae led all scorers with 24 points, and Richardson finished with 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting. The Volunteers outrebounded Michigan, 28-26, and the Wolverines turned the ball over 13 times (including four in the last two minutes of the game), compared to seven for Tennessee. Freshman Zak Irvin (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting on three-pointers, and Walton finished with nine points, six rebounds and four assists.
Michigan will play No. 8 seed Kentucky on Sunday (March 30) in the Elite Eight at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The game is set to begin at 5:05 p.m. on CBS.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423