A trip to the regional semifinal in the West region will be on the line this evening as the No. 3 Tennessee Volunteers will battle the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The game will tip off at 5:15 p.m. ET on CBS. Tennessee enters as a six-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 3 Tennessee: 27-7 (14-4 SEC):
First round result: Defeated #14 Longwood 88-56
KenPom rating: 6 Overall, 34 Offense, 2 Defense
NET ranking: 7, (11-7 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Kennedy Chandler (13.8 ppg)
Key stat: Tennessee carries an eight-game win streak into this second round battle.
Tennessee made light work of Longwood in the first round on Thursday, cruising to 32-point blowout win in Indianapolis. The Volunteers were deadly from downtown throughout the game, making 14-of-24 attempts from three.
Santiago Vescovi proved to be a difference maker on both ends of the floor, providing 18 points, seven assists, and four steals in the win. Josiah-Jordan James had 17 points and nine rebounds while Kennedy Chandler put up 13 points, five rebounds, and five assists. It was efficient performance for their starters before they were taken out in garbage time.
Defensively, the Vols have one of the best turnover rates in the nation and and are facing a Michigan team that can be sloppy at times. They have to take advantage of that and create opportunities for themselves on the other end.
No. 11 Michigan: 18-14 (11-9 Big Ten):
First round result: Defeated No. 6 Colorado State 75-63
KenPom rating: 30 Overall, 19 Offense, 78 Defense
NET ranking: 34, (5-10 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Hunter Dickinson (18.4 ppg)
Key stat: Michigan is trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since early February.
Michigan registered the first upset of the afternoon on Saturday when taking down Colorado State for a 12-point victory. The Wolverines fell into a hole early in the first half and were seemingly proving the detractors who said they shouldn’t have been in the tournament correct. However, they completely flipped the script on the Rams in the second half, knocking down jumper after jumper until a Caleb Houstan three put them up midway through the period. Michigan would continue to build on it and never looked back.
Hunter Dickinson once again led the Wolverines with 21 points and six rebounds. Eli Brooks put up 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
Michigan must take advantage of it’s opportunities on offense and not fall into a hole like it did on Thursday. Tennessee boasts the second best defense in the country in adjusted efficiency.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Tennessee -6
Point total: 136
Moneyline: Tennessee -250, Michigan +200
Against The Spread Pick: Tennessee -6
Point total pick: Under 136
Pick to Win: Tennessee
Tennessee is arguably the hottest team in the nation right now and should be able to keep things rolling this evening to advance to the regional semifinals in San Antonio next weekend. The key will be controlling the game from the defensive end of the floor and forcing the Wolverines to beat them from the perimeter by harassing Dickinson in the paint.
This won’t be a high-scoring affair and the Vols have been comfortable in those types of ballgames. They should be able to cover the spread and win comfortably here.
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