2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 11 Tennessee

Tennessee 2014 NCAA Tournament

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 2 seed in the Midwest region of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Michigan Wolverines, have rolled to a spot in the Sweet 16 with impressive wins over the No. 7 seeded Texas Longhorns and the No. 15 seed Wofford. With the No. 1 seeded Wichita State Shockers and the No. 3 seeded Duke Blue Devils already falling, Michigan will believe that they have an easy path to the Elite Eight. Unfortunately, the Wolverines will face the hottest team in college basketball in the Sweet 16, the No. 11 seeded Tennessee Volunteers.

Tennessee crushed the 2014 NCAA Tournament’s Cinderella team in the No. 14 seeded Mercer Bears after they dominated the No. 6 seeded UMass Minutemen and escaped with a win against the No. 11 seeded Iowa Hawkeyes in the First Four. Jarnell Stokes is one of the best players in college basketball, and it is showing in their wins.

What to Watch For:

Michigan is one of the worst rebounding teams in college basketball, whereas the Volunteers are one of the best. Nik Stauskas will have to have the game of his life from range if the Wolverines are to break through Tennessee’s defense and Josh Richardson. Richardson’s defense will be key for both teams.

Prediction:

The Volunteers are getting hot at the right time. Michigan may be one of the best teams in college basketball, but they don’t have an answer for Jeronne Maymon and Stokes down low. Expect a huge game from Stauskas, but the Wolverines will fall short of the streaking Vols.

Tennessee 68, Michigan 60

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Around the Web

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/frankjramirez/ Frank Ramirez

    Go Blue – :)

  • Landon

    I don’t hate the upset pick, but Tennessee is basically a slightly more athletic and better shooting version of Texas, and Michigan was able to handle the ‘Horns. Tennessee is hot right now, but I think it’s the Vols who will have to play the game of their lives to keep up with Michigan. Again, I think the upset pick is reasonable, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 15 point Michigan win.

    • Daniel Kenmar

      I agree, but the Vols haven’t just been winning, they’ve been winning very decisively. UMass is by no means a bad team, but Tennessee had them playing on their back heel from the opening buzzer.

      Duke was very highly seeded, Mercer wins the upset in a close one, then the Vols did what they did to UMass (19 point win) and won by 20.

      The scariest thing I can think of for the Vols right now is that they don’t play again until Friday. If the games were still rolling throughout the week, I give the game to Tennessee hands down. With the 4 days off, they need to try their hardest to stay hot, and get rolling to an early lead once again.