Recap: Michigan vs. Tennessee
03/28/2014 6:52 PM
03/28/2014 10:22 PM
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - After breaking the team tournament record with 14 3-pointers against Texas in the third round, Michigan was on pace to challenge that mark again.
Until a cold spell and a Tennessee onslaught nearly spoiled another trip to the Elite Eight. And when Jordan McRae's heave from halfcourt soared over the backboard, it was finally able to exhale.
Jordan Morgan had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Nik Stauskas added 14 and the Wolverines held off Tennessee, 73-71, in a Midwest Regional semifinal.
Second-seeded Michigan (28-8), which finished 11-of-20 from deep following a 14-of-28 performance against Texas, will face eighth-seeded Kentucky in the Midwest Regional final on Sunday.
Michigan, which made 7-of-9 3-point attempts in the first half, built an advantage as large as 15 over the final 20 minutes. The 11th-seeded Volunteers (24-13) used an 11-2 run to get back in it and capitalized on four straight Michigan turnovers later to make it interesting in the closing seconds.
After Josh Richardson banked in a floater with 24.6 seconds on the clock, the Vols trapped Glenn Robinson III along the right endline and his pass bounced past Caris LeVert near halfcourt. The third consecutive Michigan giveaway led to a McRae layup to make it 72-71.
LeVert then stepped out of bounds on the ensuing inbounds, but Jarnell Stokes was called for an offensive foul with six seconds to go.
"I don't think I fouled him," Stokes said. "But it was a smart play for him to try to take the charge."
Stauskas split a pair of free throws to extend the Wolverines edge to 73-71 and McRae's heave from halfcourt was well off the mark.
"So pleased to get this win," Michigan head coach John Beilein said. "Certainly it was a lot of drama at the end, but we've had a lot of that this year and a win is a win."
Robinson scored 13, LeVert supplied 10 and Zak Irvin knocked down three triples for nine points in the triumph.
McRae netted a game-high 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while Richardson added 19 for Tennessee, which had won eight of its last nine coming in after becoming the third team to advance to the Sweet 16 from the First Four.
The game was tied 7-7 before Stauskas began an 8-0 flurry with a triple and ended it with a dunk to give Michigan a 15-7 lead four-plus minutes in.
Tennessee answered back with six straight makes from the field and a McRae jumper staked it to a 21-20 edge a little before the midway point of the half.
Irvin then nailed back-to-back deep left wing triples to jumpstart a 16-4 Wolverines surge, which LeVert capped with a layup for a 36-25 advantage.
Michigan led 45-34 at the break. The Wolverines shot 61.5 percent (16-of-26) in the opening 20 minutes.
"I think the first half we were kind of playing soft defense. We let them get through and get to the rack whenever they wanted," Richardson said.
A Spike Albrecht layup gave Michigan's its largest advantage at 60-45 with 10:56 to play.
The Vols, though, held the Wolverines to just one field goal over the next 4 1/2 minutes as they went on an 11-2 surge to get within 62-56 with 6:45 to play.
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