I'd give almost anything to find it. As soon as it happened I couldn't believe it. Streaking down the court on the right side Darius Morrisled a two on one break with Michigan up 28 points. At first I didn't see who was streaking with him, but I assumed from the pastiness sprinting down the floor it was Zack Novak. It wasn't. Nearing the hoop Tennessee's defender closed on Morris who immediately delivered a behind the back bounce pass into the waiting hands of Stu Douglass. In one motion Douglass gathered the ball and launched himself at the rim. Then something spectacular happened.
Stu Douglass posterized a mofo.
Raising with more ups than I thought he had, Douglass delivered a flat out, two handed tomahawk jam that has normally been reserved for Jordan Morgan this season. And Douglass delivered it with such gusto, anger and funkiness that it brought us back to memories of our beloved Honky Magic/White Moses, Zack Gibson. Stu giving the Vol defender a little crotcheration as he made love to the rim only made it better. Stu-daddy rocked that rim, Sugah. An' you know he gon' make everything alright. It was glorious. Stu made my day.
Well... maybe not made my day. My day was made by the insane 19-2 second half run that Michigan went on. When they absolutely buried the Volunteers. Perhaps throttling is the wrong word to use. This was a pulping.
But for a half at least, this seemed like it was going to be the competitive battle of styles it'd been predicted to be. Tennessee went directly at Michigan down low, picking up a quick pair of fouls on Jorgan Morgan. After that it was basically a post clinic by the Vols' talented big man Tobias Harris down low. Harris scored 19 points in the first half, and went 7-7 from the free throw line. Michigan, on the other hand, was struggling from the field. Early in the first half the Wolverines were 1-8 from three and taking most of their shots from beyond the arc. As a result, Michigan spent the majority of the first half playing catch-up, routinely down by 6 or 7 points. But then Matt Vogrich caught fire.
The sharpshooting guard uncharacteristically found himself around the rim rather than out along the arc. Vogrich was dropping in layups in traffic, stealing cross court passes, and being the spark off the bench that Michigan has relied upon since the middle of the conference season. Vogrich scored 9 of Michigan's 14 points during a 14-8 run that gave Michigan the lead for good in the first half. he was awesome, and he was what kept Michigan in the game early. It wasn't so much what Tennessee was doing, it was Tennessee's physical presence (length and athleticism) that seemed to frustrate the Wolverines early. Vogrich's point explosion gave Michigan the time it needed to settle down, and then get down to business.
Stil, an extremely competitive first half, Michigan led Tennessee by four. And then Tennessee melted down. Michigan went on a 16-0 run a minute in to the second half and never looked back. Pushing the lead to 21 points, Michigan allowed Tennessee within 14, but that was it. Following a Vol three pointer to get the score back to a 14 point deficit, Michigan went on another 14-0 run to seal the game.
The end of that second 14-0 run was Douglass' funky freshinating of the rim. It was glorious. Incredulous shouts of "That was DOUGLASS!?" followed by "Holy [***] that was AWESOME!" resonated off the restaurant walls. It was awesome. Michigan came into the NCAA tournament and dismembered another NCAA tournament team. You'd need dental records to identify what was left of the Volunteers. Honestly, they did one better than the Fab Five today. They incinerated their opponent.
Going forward, there's no chance that (our most likely opponent) Duke will play anywhere near as bad a second half as Tennessee played. As good as the Wolverines were in the second half, Tennessee was equally bad. Michigan actually out rebounded the Volunteers 36-26, including a stunning 12-6 advantage on the offensive glass. How does that happen when Tennessee's entire front line is taller and longer than Michigan? It also stands to reason that Duke will not shoot 16.7% from three. The Blue Devils shoot 37.55 from beyond the arc, so there's little chance they'll go 3-18. But that's for us to worry about tomorrow. Today we celebrate one of the most lopsided wins in Michigan Tournament history.
And we celebrate the funkiness of Stu Douglass. You, sir, rocked our world and that rim at the same time. Go Blue!
P.S. Someone, anyone, get me photos or video of the Douglass dunk. I'm begging you.