INDIANAPOLIS — Jordan Morgan scored 15 points and Nik Stauskas had 14, including a key free throw, to help second-seeded Michigan hold on for a 73-71 victory Friday night over Tennessee in a Midwest Region semifinal.
The Wolverines (28-8) led by 15 with 10:55 to go, but they committed four turnovers in the final 97 seconds. Tennessee (24-13) cut the lead to 72-71 and had a chance to take the lead, but Jarnell Stokes was called for an offensive foul on a drive with six seconds left.
Stauskas then made 1 of 2 free throws and UT missed a desperation heave.
"I don't think I fouled him," Stokes said. "But it was a smart play for him to try to take the charge. He pretty much anticipated it."
"I knew it was a charge itself," he said. "But as far as them actually calling it and maybe getting it right, I didn't know."
Jordan McRae scored 24 to lead the 11th-seeded Vols.
"With the magnitude of this game, I don't think you could call a charge at that point," said McRae, who fell to the court in tears when the game ended.
The Wolverines have won 15 straight games of 10-points-or-fewer margins.
It was a mirror of the Texas game six days earlier where Michigan ignored the opponent's size advantage and buried the Vols from long range hitting 7 of their first 9 3-pointers to lead by double digits at the half.
Yet just like against the Longhorns, the Wolverines had to hold off a second-half rally as this one got even tighter.
For most of the first 36 minutes, Michigan was in firm control. Then came a late stunning turnaround by Tennessee, a bubble team that had to win a first-round game just to get into the round of 64.
When Stauskas, the Big Ten player of the year, made a 3-pointer with 3:37 to go, the Wolverines led 70-60. Tennessee gave up just one more basket and steadily took advantage of Michigan's miscues. When McRae completed a three-point play with 1:56 left, the Vols trailed 72-67. Richardson's layup made it 72-69 with 24.6 seconds left and when the Wolverines' Glenn Robinson threw away the ball on the next possession, McRae's layup cut Michigan's lead to 72-71.
Another turnover on an inbounds play gave Stokes the chance to put Tennessee ahead.
But Stokes, who contended he did not commit the foul, was called for the charge and the Vols' comeback was over.
Michigan should be getting used to these sorts of finishes in Indianapolis.
It sure didn't look like it would come down to the final shot when Michigan shot 61.5 percent in the first half and led by as much as 13. Or in the second half when they led by 15.
But Tennessee buckled down defensively and rallied to cut the lead to six with 6:41 to play.
Kentucky 74, Louisville 69: Aaron Harrison made a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to give the No. 8 seed Wildcats (27-10) the go-ahead points in a victory over the in-state rival Cardinals (31-6), the fourth seed. Harrison, Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson all finished with 15 points for the Wildcats. Louisville got 23 points from senior Russ Smith, who missed a late 3 with a chance to tie.
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
|Region semis||Region finals||Final Four||Championship||Final Four||Region finals||Region semis|
|South||Memphis||1 Florida 79||1 Arizona 70||Anaheim, Calif.||WEST|
|1 Florida||at Arlington, Texas||1 Arizona|
|4 UCLA 68||4 San Diego St. 64|
|11 Dayton 82||6:09, TBS||about 8:50, TBS||6 Baylor 52|
|11 Dayton||2 Wisconsin|
|10 Stanford 72||2 Wisconsin 69|
|April 5||April 7||April 5|
|East||New York||1 Virginia 59||6 or 8:30, TBS||9:10, Ch. 10||6 or 8:30, TBS||8 Kentucky 74||Indianapolis||MIDWEST|
|4 Michigan St.||8 Kentucky|
|4 Michigan State 61||4 Louisville 69|
|3 Iowa State 76||2:20, Ch. 10||About 5:05, Ch. 10||11 Tennessee 73|
|7 Connecticut||2 Michigan|
|7 Connecticut 81||2 Michigan 71|