While watching game film of Sweet 16 opponent Tennessee on Monday, Michigan coach John Beilein plucked out a 4-year old boxscore. It was dated March 18, 2011 -- the last meeting between the Vols and the Wolverines. Listed among the Tennessee's reserves were Jeronne Maymon and Jordan McRae. McRae played the final two minutes of the game. Maymon played the final minute. Michigan beat Tennessee that day, 75-45, in the second round of the NCAA tournament West Regional. All these years later, Maymon and McRae are still on the UT roster, as are Michigan's Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford. Morgan started, scoring 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while Horford played sparingly as a reserve. A rematch is coming Friday in Indianapolis in the Sweet 16. Since the last get together, Morgan and Horford have seen Michigan make three more trips to the NCAA tournament. Maymon and McRae saw back-to-back NIT appearances before the Vols finally broke through to reach the NCAA tournament this year. Having returned the dance, they're making the best of it. No. 11 seed Tennessee has beaten Iowa, Massachusetts and Mercer by a combined 52 points to reach the Sweet 16. "Those guys have been grinding it out for four years trying to get to this point," Beilein said Monday on CBS Sports Radio. The Vols are the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region and winners in eight of their last nine games. They're 24-12 overall and one of three double-digit seeds remaining in the tournament field. "Don’t mistake their seed right now," Beilein said. Tennessee boasts a starting lineup of three seniors in Maymon, McRae and point guard Antonio Barton, a Memphis transfer, and two juniors in guard Josh Richardson and forward Jarnell Stokes. Each is averaging over 8.7 points per game in the tournament. While McRae led UT is scoring in the regular season at 18.6 points per game, Stokes and Richardson have starred in the postseason. In three NCAA tournament wins, Stokes is averaging 20.3 points and 15.0 rebounds, Richardson is averaging 19.3 points and McRae is posting 18.3 points per game. Beilein compared Tennessee to Texas, which U-M beat 79-65 on Sunday. Texas was a team built on rebounding, interior play and quick guards. "(Tennessee) really has everything that Texas had, but what they do have that Texas didn’t have is (veteran experience)," Beilein said. "This team has got fourth- and fifth-year players all over the place; a bunch of juniors and seniors. (They are) really well coached and play great defense."
Beilein's first impression of Vols: 'Don’t mistake their seed right now'
Michigan Live | Mar 25