The Wolverines nearly threw the game away against Tennessee with a pair of crucial late turnovers, but a key offensive foul against the Volunteers was enough to preserve the 73-71 Michigan win.
Michigan led by as many as 15 points during the second half, but the Volunteers rallied all the way back. Even still, Michigan remained in control; that is, until it couldn't successfully inbound the ball. The Volunteers began fouling late in the game, but had committed just three team fouls during the second half. That meant Michigan was forced to run multiple inbounds plays. The first two went alright, but the third did not end up well for Michigan.
That cut the Wolverine lead to a single point. The ensuing inbound play wasn't any better as Caris LeVert stepped on the inline.
After trailing nearly the entire game, the Volunteers suddenly had possession and a chance to take the lead. That didn't last long, however, as Jarnell Stokes was called for an offensive foul, giving the ball back to Michigan.
There were some more inbounds issues, but eventually, the Wolverines were able to get the ball to Nik Stauskas for the a game-sealing free throw.
Michigan shot the ball well from three-point range, hitting 11 three-point attempts, and the Wolverines ended up needing every one.
The Wolverines ran out to an 11-point halftime lead thanks to some hot shooting in the first half. Michigan was especially hot from deep, hitting 7-of-9 three-point attempts during the first half. Mitch McGary enjoyed the early success from long range.
Overall, the Wolverines connected on 61.5 percent of their field goals during the first 20 minutes. Their 45 first-half points were the most points Tennessee allowed in a first half this season. Stauskas was part of the offensive attack, hitting a pair of threes. He also nearly came up with the assist of the game, throwing the ball off the backboard before kicking it out to an open teammate.
It looked like it would be much of the same early in the second half, with the Wolverines building a 15-point lead. The Volunteers wouldn't go quietly, however, and rallied back to cut the lead to one with 10 seconds to play. That proved to be as close as they would get, with Michigan escaping with the narrow victory.
The Wolverines advance to the Elite 8 despite an off shooting night from Stauskas. The Big Ten player of the year made just 3 of 8 three-point attempts. The rest of the team more than made up for it, though, with Zak Irvin, Derrick Walton Jr. and Caris LeVert finding success from deep. Stauskas also found some success inside the arc, including a difficult off-balanced layup to extend the Wolverines' lead late in the game.
Both teams shot the ball well, with Michigan hitting 55.1 percent of its shots and Tennessee connecting on 52.6 percent. The difference proved to be from long range. Michigan made 11 of 20 attempts from three, while Tennessee finished just 3-of-11 from long range. The Wolverines also had major contributions from their post players; Jordan Morgan and Robinson III combined for 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting.
With the win, Michigan advances to the Elite Eight, where it will face either No. 4 Louisville or No. 8 Kentucky.