Tennessee's Tobias Harris (12) stops the shot of Michigan's Evan Smotrycz (23) during the first half of Tennessee's game against Michigan in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Friday March 18, 2011.Photo by Ethan Hyman
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A bad week for Tennessee got much worse.
Michigan hammered the Volunteers 75-45 in an NCAA tournament second-round game in the West Regional on Friday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Arena, and in the mean time sent UT into a future of uncertainty.
The eighth-seeded Wolverines closed the first half on a 16-6 run after the ninth-seeded Vols led 23-17 at the seven-minute mark. Michigan then opened the second half on a 19-2 run to take a 52-31 lead.
After Skylar McBee’s 3-pointer cut UT’s deficit to 56-40, the Wolverines ripped off the next 11 points to stretch their lead to 30.
Freshman Tobias Harris scored 19 points in the first half, making all six of his shots from the field and all seven free throws. But he didn’t score in the second half, missing all four of his shots.
Scotty Hopson, UT’s leading scorer, scored just four points, making just one of his five shots. Freshman backup point guard Trae Golden, who scored six points, was the only other Vol with more than five.
Point guard Darius Morris had 12 points, six rebounds and nine assists for Michigan, which also got double-figure scoring performances from Stu Douglass (11), Matt Vogrich (11) and Jordan Morgan (10).
Hopson's foul shot gave UT a 23-17 lead with roughly seven minutes left in the half before Michigan's tricky offense began clicking. Matt Vogrich and Evan Smotrycz each made 3-pointers during the run, and Darius Morris made a shot at the buzzer.
The Wolverines made just eight of their first 24 shots but closed the half making seven of 12 from the field. They opened the second half by making 12 of their first 16 shots. After making just one of their first nine 3-point shots, Michigan drained eight of their next 14.
The taller, bigger and more athletic Vols allowed a smaller Michigan team to have a 35-24 edge on the boards.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...