The Wolverines have now pulled two upsets and will be in San Antonio next weekend for the Sweet 16.
Michigan, as an 11 seed, is on to the Sweet Sixteen.
The Wolverines handled No. 3 Tennessee, 76-68, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen and looked like a legitimate contender in the process.
1. No DeVante’ Jones, no problem
This is not meant to be a knock on Jones at all, but Frankie Collins has grown all the way up in this NCAA Tournament. He was outstanding against Colorado State as Jones sat out the entire game with a concussion and stepped up again as Jones missed the second half, likely again due to concussion issues after he took a shot to the head. He only scored two points today against Tennessee but he played 30 minutes, only turned it over twice against a team that pressures guards in a major way and once again, pushed the tempo and dished out two nice assists. If Jones can’t go next week, there’s no longer any need to worry. That is great for a team’s confidence and preparation.
2. Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks lead the way
The big sophomore and the fifth-year senior led Michigan with 50 points combined. Dickinson established himself down low and knocked down three triples, while Brooks made two three-pointers of his own, several key mid-range jumpers and one of the most clutch shots of his entire career. With less than a minute to play in the second half, and Michigan up by just two points, Brooks drove right and threw up an impossible hook shot that went down. On the next possession, he calmly nailed two free throws to put Michigan up six, which essentially sealed the game. Dickinson and Moussa Diabate each added two more free throws apiece down the stretch to give U-M the victory.
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3. Michigan defense steps way up
Tennessee looked really sharp against Longwood, but that was not the case against Michigan today. The Vols shot just 42% from the field and an ice cold 11% from three-point range. Michigan fans watched their beloved Wolverines lose games all season because they couldn’t make shots from three-point range but today, it was U-M making things tough on its opponent. Michigan didn’t exactly burn up the nets from deep going 6-for-16, but holding Tennessee to just 2-for-11 from beyond the long line is a massive feat in today’s college basketball. The way Michigan defenders ran Volunteers off the three-point line all game long was a clinic. Even guys like Caleb Houstan, who did not show up on the offensive end of the floor, routinely closed out aggressively on shooters and turned them into drivers. That was the difference on the scoreboard tonight.