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Tennessee vs Michigan

No. 2 Michigan survives against Tennessee despite wild rally

CBSSports.com wire reports
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Michigan coach John Beilein had watched his team blow almost all of a 15-point lead, and he was sure he knew how Tennessee would try to take the lead.

With six seconds left and trailing 72-71, Cuonzo Martin would probably send the ball into Jarnell Stokes, who would try 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 advice 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 game for Michigan and infuriated Tennessee's "Rocky Top" contingent.

Big Ten player of the year 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 floor as the buzzer sounded on a 73-71 Michigan victory.

"We got just enough stops," Beilein said.

Tennessee thought they got one stop unfairly.

"With the magnitude of this game, I don't think you could call a charge at that point," McRae said dejectedly after scoring 24 points.

But the officials did call it, allowing Michigan to reach a second straight regional final.

The Wolverines (28-8) have won 10 of their last 11, none as tenuous or excruciating as this one to set up a Sunday showdown against Kentucky, the 2012 national champion.

Tennessee almost pulled off one of the most stunning comebacks in recent regional memory.

With 10:55 to go, Spike Albrecht's layup gave Michigan a seemingly insurmountable 60-45 lead.

When Stauskas made the last of his three 3-pointers with 3:40 to go, the Wolverines still led 70-60. Stauskas finished with 14 points.

For some reason, Michigan went into panic mode and, just two weeks after nearly blowing two big leads in the Big Ten tournament, they nearly threw this one away.

The Volunteers staunch defense limited Michigan to just one basket over the final 3:40 and forced four turnovers in the final 97 seconds to give themselves a chance in the closing seconds.

"I don't think I fouled him," said Stokes, who had 11 points and six rebounds after two straight double-doubles. "But it was a smart play for him to try to take the charge. He pretty much anticipated it."

Just as Beilein had predicted.

For most of the night, Michigan relied on its shooting stars to stay in control against a defense that had allowed just 54.0 points in its previous eight games.

The Wolverines took a 13-point lead in the first half and still led 45-34 at halftime because they were shooting 61.5 percent from the field and made 7 of 9 on 3-pointers. Michigan didn't slow down early in the second half, either, taking the biggest lead of the game at 60-45.

But somehow Tennessee played itself right back into the game.

The 11th-seeeded Vols, who had a first-round game in overtime at Dayton, Ohio, just to start their surprising postseason run, cut the deficit to 62-56 with 6:45 left. They got within 72-67 when McRae completed a three-point play with 1:56 to go. They made it 72-69 when Josh Richardson scored the last of his 19 points on a layup with 24.6 seconds left. McRae's layup following another Michigan turnover made it 72-71 with 10.8 seconds remaining.

So when the officials ruled Michigan's Caris LeVert caught the ball with one foot on the baseline and 9.6 seconds left, Martin made the smart call by giving Stokes a chance to win it with a basket or draw the foul.

"We got the ball to Jarnell. Jordan set a screen for him to get him right to isolate him, attack him in the middle," Martin explained. "Obviously we got the ball where we wanted."

However, the call went against them.

"We heard all week about they had mismatches and how we couldn't guard them inside," Morgan said after letting out a scream at the end. "We're not really soft around here. That's not who we are."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Tennessee #11 343771
Michigan #2 «452873
TENN:J. McRae 24 Pts
TENN:J. McRae 6 Reb
TENN:J. McRae 2 Ast
MICH:J. Morgan 15 Pts
MICH:J. Morgan 7 Reb
MICH:C. LeVert 5 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
TennesseeMichigan
TENN
Jordan McRae
MICH
Jordan Morgan
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
24621570
Tennessee Volunteers
J. McRae, G389-186-1162024
J. Richardson, G379-140-022219
J. Stokes, F345-91-261211
J. Maymon, F171-40-03142
A. Barton, G141-20-00113
D. Thompson, G261-41-12203
A. Moore, G203-50-06246
D. Reese, G141-10-02003
G. Campbell, GDid Not Play
Q. Chievous, GDid Not Play
B. Lopez, GDid Not Play
D. Edwards, GDid Not Play
A. Davis, G-FDid Not Play
R. Hubbs, GDid Not Play
R. Ndiaye, CDid Not Play
Totals 30-578-1427111371
 52.6%57.1% 
Michigan Wolverines
G. Robinson III, F395-82-252013
N. Stauskas, G375-121-202114
C. LeVert, G334-100-015110
J. Morgan, F327-91-170315
D. Walton Jr., G302-23-36439
Z. Irvin, G113-50-00019
S. Albrecht, G101-20-00122
J. Horford, F80-11-24021
M. Bielfeldt, FDid Not Play
M. McGary, FDid Not Play
A. Dakich, GDid Not Play
M. Donnal, FDid Not Play
C. McConnell, GDid Not Play
S. Lonergan, FDid Not Play
B. Anlauf, FDid Not Play
Totals 27-498-1023141373
 55.1%80.0% 
Southeastern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Kentucky0-06-021
Arkansas0-04-058
Miss. State0-04-051
Vanderbilt0-04-0195
Alabama0-04-114
Ole Miss0-03-1284
Texas A&M0-03-1216
Tennessee0-02-1202
Auburn0-03-2241
Florida0-03-263
Georgia0-03-2115
LSU0-03-25
Missouri0-03-3172
S. Carolina0-03-395

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wisconsin0-06-014
Illinois0-05-052
Maryland0-05-0143
Ohio St.0-04-050
Northwestern0-05-168
Penn St.0-05-1157
Purdue0-05-1231
Indiana0-04-1208
Michigan0-04-116
Michigan St.0-04-151
Nebraska0-03-184
Iowa0-04-223
Minnesota0-03-2225
Rutgers0-02-2303
 
Other games
CONN 81 Final
ISU 76
UK 74 Final
LOU 69
MIST 61 Final
UVA 59