Tennessee Volunteers (11 seed, 24-12) vs. Michigan Wolverines (2 seed, 27-8)
When: March 28, 2014
Time: 7:15 PM
Line: Michigan Wolverines -2.5
After two victories in the 2014 NCAA tournament, Big Ten Player of the year, Nik Stauskas, has his Michigan Wolverines back in a familiar spot.
After falling 40 minutes short of a National Championship, many believed the Wolverines were going to have down year. Not only did they lose Wooden award winner Trey Burke to the NBA, but sophomore sensation Mitch McGary was ruled out for the remainder of the season after under going surgery to correct a “lower back condition”, but no so fast.
Despite not being the most physical team, the Wolverines offense has been extremely explosive averaging 75 points on 48% shooting. After losing in dominating fashion to the Spartans in Big Ten Tournament Finals, the NCAA tournament has been the Wolverines stepping stone towards another shot at their one shining moment, heading towards their 8th Final Four in program history. There’s no doubt, the offense falls on the hand of Stauskas, who leads the Wolverines in scoring averaging 17.4 points per game, but it’s the role players – Caris LeVert and Glenn Robinson III who are averaging 13.1 points and Derrick Walton Jr. who is averaging 8.1 points – that have got the Wolverines back into the Sweet 16.
Only allowing 61.4 points, while holding opponents to 41% from the field, it has been Tennessee’s defense that have allowed them to win eight of their last nine games. Despite Jordan McRae’s 18.6 points per game. Jarnell Stokes’ 15.2 points and 10.7 rebounds, Josh Richardson’s 10.1 points, and Jeronne Maymon’s 9.9 points and 8.2 rebounds, Tennessee’s offense will be unable to go toe-to-toe with the Wolverines.
While Tennessee would love to get into a defensive battle with Michigan, it’s going to be the offense of Michigan that will be too much for the Volunteers to handle.