(2) Michigan Returns to Elite Eight
(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) — Last year’s national title game loss to Louisville continues to fuel Michigan. The two-seed in the Midwest region held off a late rally by 11th-seeded Tennessee to advance to their second straight Elite Eight, 73-71 on Friday night.
“We got just enough stops,” said Wolverines head coach John Beilein. The final stop came with a 72-71 advantage but Tennessee possession.
As Jarnell Stokes bodied his way into the paint, Michigan’s Jordan Morgan took a shoulder to the chest and drew a charge, giving the Wolverines the ball. Nik Stauskas hit one of two free throws and a 70-foot prayer went begging for the Volunteers.
Michigan (28-8) nearly blew a 15-point lead in the second half after controlling tempo from the start. Spike Albrecht hit a layup with 10:55 remaining that gave the Wolverines a 60-45 lead. Seven minutes later, a Stauskas three gave Michigan a 70-60 lead that looked insurmountable.
Tennessee (24-13), however, was not ready for their Cinderella story to end. The Volunteers limited Michigan to just one basket in the final 3:40 while forcing four turnovers to close the gap. The fourth was followed by a Jordan McRae layup to make it a 72-71 game with 10.8 seconds left before the offensive foul to Stokes.
McRae finished with a game high 24 points in the loss while Stauskas added 14 for the Wolverines. Michigan now moves on to face eight-seed Kentucky in the regional final on Sunday.
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