The magic of the March Michigan Wolverines continues, as they took out volunteers from the #3 ranked Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16, 76-68.
Here is how this fell.
Michigan’s offensive started in this game, scoring 10 points within a few minutes. The Wolverines led 10-2, but Tennessee closed the difference to 10-8 before the first media timeout.
Jones started his strength before he was taken to the locker room with a hand injury. Jones returned soon after, but was then inadvertently shot in the head by Moussa Diabate and had to leave the game again. He returned, but looked. He finished the half with two points, three assists and three rebounds.
Hunter Dickinson was the archetypal Hunter Dickinson in the first half. It didn’t even take 10 minutes for the sophomore big man to earn eight points on a 2-of-2 shot from the field and a 2-of-2 shot from the free throw line. By the end of the game, he had 12 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
It was back and forth on the scoreboard for most of the first half, but Tennessee started pulling back over the last few minutes. Michigan led 30-24, but the Volunteers went in a 13-2 run. A large portion of Tennessee’s points were due to Michigan converting the ball four times in a row to finish the game.
The end of the first 20 minutes, Tennessee held 37-32.
the other half
It was announced just before the start of the second half that Jones was ruled out for the remainder of the match due to what they were calling illness. Collins started the second half as the point guard.
But the start of the first half belonged to Dickinson. He scored Michigan’s first nine points in the inning. It didn’t take the Wolverines long to reclaim the lead thanks to his efforts, but the volunteers didn’t go far. Led by new guard Kennedy Chandler and junior guard Josiah Jordan James, Tennessee was leading 57-54 midway through the second half.
But Michigan decided to go on a tour of its own. There were two occasions when sophomore striker Terrence Williams grabbed an attacking rebound and put it back for two points to tie the match.
Eli Brooks also shined late on this one when the Wolverines needed him most. The first-year-old guard found his teammates open regularly, while hitting jumps and three-pointers alike. With the match tied at 62, he fouled a one-point corner kick with 3:21 left in the match, putting Wolverine up by three.
Brooks turned the ball inside, but made up for it soon after by guiding Xavier Simpson inside Xavier Simpson with a sky hook to put Michigan ahead by four points. He also hit two clutch free throws to widen the difference to six.
Michigan will play the Villanova/Ohio State game winner at Sweet 16 Thursday in San Antonio. Villanova and OSU are set for 2:40 p.m. Sunday.