Michigan Meets Tennessee Saturday With Trip To Sweet 16 On The Line

Written By Paul Costanzo on March 18, 2022
Frankie Collins celebrating

The Michigan men’s basketball team came to life in the second half Thursday to pick up a first-round victory against Colorado State. It’s reward? A second-round date with the No. 3 seed in the South Region, Tennessee.

It’s a marquee NCAA Tournament matchup between name brand schools, even if the seeding doesn’t reflect that. It’s scheduled for a 5:15 p.m. tipoff Saturday on CBS.

At stake is a trip to the Sweet 16.

Michigan vs. Tennessee betting odds

Michigan enters the game as the 11 seed and the underdog.

Tennessee is listed at  against the spread and on the moneyline.

Michigan sits at on the moneyline.

Both teams covered in their opening round matchups, as Tennessee entered its game against 14 seed Longwood as a an 18-point favorite, and won 88-56. Michigan was a 1.5-point favorite against Colorado State, despite being the lower seed. The Wolverines won 75-63.

Guard play keys Tennessee

The Volunteers enter their matchup against Michigan on a roll, having won the SEC Tournament championship.

Freshman guard Kennedy Chandler leads the team in scoring with 13.8 points per game, and shoots 38.4% from 3-point range. Junior guard Santiago Vescovi is close behind at 13.5 points per game, and shoots 40.5% from 3.

The Vols shoot 35.9% from 3-point range as a team.

It’s defense, though, that is the main strength for Tennessee, as it allows 62.8 points per game. The computers love the Vols defense, too, as it ranks among the top 3 according to both the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings and T-Rank.

Michigan shines despite DeVante Jones absence

Michigan advanced despite missing starting guard DeVante Jones, who was out with a concussion. He’s questionable for Saturday’s game, but the performance of Frankie Collins in his absence was promising for the Wolverines.

Collins had 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and just one turnover against Colorado State. The freshman provided a spark when Michigan got down by as many as 15 points near the end of the first half.

The Wolverines offense still runs through sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, though, and that doesn’t figure to change regardless of Jones’ status. Dickinson had 21 points against Colorado State, and leads Michigan with 18.4 points per game on the season.

Michigan’s outside shooting has been spotty throughout the season, and that continued Thursday. But the Wolverines were 4-of-7 from 3 in the second half, helping to fuel their comeback efforts after a 0-for-7 performance in the first half.

Photo by Michael Conroy / Associated Press
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Paul Costanzo

Paul Costanzo is a Michigan native and Central Michigan University graduate with more than 20 years of sports writing experience. He has led sports sections in Hillsdale and Port Huron, and while his main focus has been prep sports, he has covered events from ranging from youth leagues to the pros.

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