Michigan Closes Out Tennessee To Advance
INDIANAPOLIS – Michigan coach John Beilein had watched his group blow almost all of a 15-level lead, and he was sure he knew how Tennessee would try to take the lead.
With 6 seconds left and trailing 72-71, Cuonzo Martin would probably send the ball into Jarnell Stokes, who would attempt to back into the post or drive. Beilein urged his defenders to buckle down and keep Stokes away from the rim.
Jordan Morgan, who scored 15 points, heeded his coach's recommendation and stood his ground until Stokes lowered his shoulder. The senior forward immediately crashed to the floor – perhaps embellishing the contact – but drawing the call that saved the sport for Michigan and infuriated Tennessee's "Rocky High" contingent.
Huge Ten player of the yr Nik Stauskas made a late free throw and nobody was more relieved than Beilein when Jordan McRae's 70-foot heave fell harmlessly to the ground because the buzzer sounded on a seventy three-seventy one Michigan victory.
"We received simply sufficient stops," Beilein stated.
Tennessee thought they acquired one stop unfairly.
"With the magnitude of this recreation, I do not suppose you can call a charge at that time," McRae said dejectedly after scoring 24 factors.
But the officers did name it, allowing Michigan to reach a second straight regional final.
The Wolverines (28-8) have gained 10 of their last eleven, none as tenuous or excruciating as this one to set up a Sunday showdown towards eighth-seeded Kentucky, the 2012 nationwide champion. The Wildcats received seventy four-69 over fourth-seeded Louisville, which beat Michigan in final yr's nationwide championship recreation.
Tennessee nearly pulled off one of the vital stunning comebacks in current regional reminiscence.
With 10:55 to go, Spike Albrecht's layup gave Michigan a seemingly insurmountable 60-45 lead.
When Stauskas made the final of his three 3-pointers with three:forty to go, the Wolverines still led 70-60. Stauskas finished with 14 points.
For some motive, Michigan went into panic mode and, simply two weeks after nearly blowing two huge leads within the Big Ten match, they nearly threw this one away.
The Volunteers staunch protection restricted Michigan to only one basket over the final three:forty and compelled 4 turnovers within the closing ninety seven seconds to offer themselves a chance within the closing seconds.
"I do not think I fouled him," mentioned Stokes, who had 11 factors and six rebounds after two straight double-doubles. "However it was a wise play for him to try to take the charge. He just about anticipated it."
Just as Beilein had predicted.
For a lot of the evening, Michigan relied on its taking pictures stars to remain in control against a defense that had allowed just 54.zero factors in its previous eight games.
The Wolverines took a thirteen-point lead in the first half and nonetheless led 45-34 at halftime as a result of they have been shooting 61.5 p.c from the sector and made 7 of 9 on three-pointers. Michigan did not slow down early within the second half, both, taking the most important lead of the sport at 60-forty five.
But one way or the other Tennessee played itself right back into the sport.
The eleventh-seeeded Vols, who had a primary-spherical recreation in time beyond regulation at Dayton, Ohio, just to start their surprising postseason run, lower the deficit to sixty two-56 with 6:forty five left. They acquired within 72-sixty seven when McRae completed a 3-point play with 1:fifty six to go. They made it seventy two-sixty nine when Josh Richardson scored the final of his 19 points on a layup with 24.6 seconds left. McRae's layup following one other Michigan turnover made it 72-seventy one with 10.eight seconds remaining.
So when the officers ruled Michigan's Caris LeVert caught the ball with one foot on the baseline and 9.6 seconds left, Martin made the sensible name by giving Stokes an opportunity to win it with a basket or draw the foul.
"We bought the ball to Jarnell. Jordan set a display screen for him to get him proper to isolate him, assault him within the center," Martin explained. "Obviously we got the ball the place we needed."
Nonetheless, the call went against them.
"We heard all week about they'd mismatches and the way we could not guard them inside," Morgan stated after letting out a scream on the end. "We're not really mushy round here. That is not who we're."