Michigan’s season has been defined by ups and downs, more specifically within a specific game. Good stretches of basketball followed by awful ones and vice versa. Blow out wins have been few and far between and most games have been decided by two or three possessions in the final minutes. Here in Charlotte, Michigan played its best stretch of basketball of the season, outscoring Tennessee by 26 points in the second half. Michigan battled its way through the first half, leading by four at the break before opening the game up with a 19-2 run to start the second half.
Tennessee was the more physically imposing team, bigger stronger and more athletic at almost every position, but Michigan made it very clear who was the better team. Michigan scored more points in the paint (24-8), points off turnovers (11-4), second chance points (5-0) and fast break points (6-2). Those statistical categories are great measures of “want to” and teams that win those battles will generally win more games than they lose. The Wolverines 30 point victory was the largest margin of victory in an 8-9 game ever and Michigan’s most emphatic win since opening the season with a 31 point victory over South Carolina Upstate.