NCAA Tournament 2011: Michigan vs. Tennessee Preview

Who: Tennessee (19-14) vs. Michigan (20-13) logo-rugs-tennessee-unive3070
Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
When: 12:40 PM ET, Friday, March 18th
TV: TruTV / Streaming /
Radio: MGoBlue / WTKA 1050 AM
More NCAA Tournament Coverage

Naturally, we’ve already covered this one quite a bit with some first impressions, a more detailed individual scouting, some quotes from the Tennessee side of things, and pregame videos. Luckily this game is of a large enough magnitude that we have room for our game preview as well.

The drastic differences between Bruce Pearl and John Beilein are likely to be emphasized even more than first expected. Rumors about Pearl’s future in Tennessee began to swirl on Wednesday afternoon and it appears that the head coach’s days are numbered. It’s almost impossible to project how that effects the game at hand — the entire pregame news conference revolved around Pearl’s status. Does Tennessee rally behind their belittled leader or do they roll over and call it quits. At the end of the day, there’s more to the game than the team’s emotional well being.

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Video: Michigan Commitments Shine in State Playoffs

Trey Burke and Carlton Brundidge continue to lead their respective teams to playoff success. Brundidge had 19 points in a 65-49 regional final win over Rochester Adams. The Blue Jays will face East Detroit next in the state quarterfinals.

Burke led Northland to the regional final with a huge win over Gahanna and Ohio University commitment, and Burke’s AAU teammate, Stevie Taylor. Burke had 27 points on 10-21 (4-9 3pt) shooting with 7 assists, 4 reb, and 1 TO in the 57-52 win. Here’s video from Northland’s win:

Carlton Brundidge video and a quick update on Max Bielfeldt after the jump.
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Wednesday Links


Scouting Report: Tennessee

Tobias_crop_340x234[1]I fired up ESPN3 to watch film of Tennessee’s game versus Florida in the SEC Quarterfinals last week. The Vols lost the game, 85-74, but did manage to hang with the Gators until the last several minutes. Here’s a closer look at Tennessee as well as some video footage (provided by Josh Houchin) from that game.

Tennessee is a team full of scrappers and fighters. The Vols have tremendous length and quickness and make the most of it through their aggressive and gambling trapping defense. Tennessee extends on-ball pressure far beyond the three point line and is very active in the passing lanes. However, the Tennessee defense seems to collapse a bit too much in reaction to dribble penetration, leaving shooters open on the wings — a potential means of attack for Michigan. This is all vintage Tennessee basketball under Bruce Pearl.

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Video: John Beilein Previews Tennessee

Video of John Beilein from today’s media availability is below. Notes and quotes are after the jump.

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Here’s some video from today’s media availability. Darius Morris, Zack Novak and Tim Hardaway Jr. talk Tennessee, the NCAA Tournament and preparations for their tournament game on Friday.

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