INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Michigan built a 15-point lead and then held off a furious Tennessee rally to emerge with a 73-71 victory in NCAA tourney Sweet 16 action Friday night.
The Wolverines now move into the Elite 8 and a Sunday contest where they will meet the winner of the Kentucky vs. Louisville game later Friday night. Louisville upended Michigan 82-76 in last year’s NCAA title game in Atlanta.
Michigan jumped out to an early lead over Tennessee and was up 45-34 at halftime. But the Volunteers came roaring back during the final moments and closed to within one point at 72-71 before Nik Stauskas tacked on a final free throw and the Wolverines emerged triumphant.
Tennessee outscored Michigan 37-28 during the second half.
The No. 2-seeded Wolverines are now 28-8 on the season entering Sunday’s contest while 11th-seed Tennessee finished up at 24-13.