Tennessee fans could taste what might have been one of the storied comebacks in NCAA Tournament history Friday, as a 15-point Michigan lead in the second half dwindled to one, with the Vols in possession of the ball, inside of 10 seconds to play.
That's when Vols forward Jarnell Stokes was called for a questionable charge against Michigan forward Jordan Morgan, at the same time UM's Caris LeVert seemed to have executed a clean strip of Stokes. The strip will likely be forgotten by Tennessee supporters and Michigan haters. The foul call will not.
When asked about the call after the game, Stokes said, "No, I don't think I fouled him. But it was a smart play for him to try to take the charge. He pretty much anticipated it."
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin was diplomatic, saying, "I thought [Stokes] made a good move. The official called a charge."
"They made a call," Martin added. "To give you an exact answer I have to go back and watch film. But [Morgan] was moving. Both guys were moving. But with the new rule, I'm not sure."
Said Morgan, "I knew that the play was going to be for [Stokes]. And I just know he likes to play bully ball, he's in a stance ready. ... I don't know. I just was there. It's just something I do. I take [charges]. That's what I do."