A spot in the Sweet 16 is on the line tomorrow, as the Michigan Wolverines and Tennessee Volunteers meet in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee is currently a six-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook. Regardless of what the oddsmakers think, head coach Juwan Howard and the Wolverines know the challenge in front of them.
“We understand we’re going to be playing a really good team tomorrow,” Howard said. “This team has size, they have shooting, they have great coaching, experienced coaching. Our kids just try to be ready from start to finish, play a competitive game. Because that’s the type of game we expect them to play — play Michigan basketball.”
One player to look out for on Tennessee is true freshman point guard Kennedy Chandler. The former five-star prospect is a huge reason why the Volunteers had all their success this season. He averaged 13.8 points, 4.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds.
Howard is fully aware of what he brings to the table and the threat he poses to Michigan.
“Kennedy is a special, special player, one of the best point guards in college basketball in my opinion,” Howard said. “The way he’s able to make immediate impact right out of high school into the college level — that’s impressive. But it also says a lot about the coaching staff and his development and putting him into positions to help lead the team to where they are today.”
A big part of Michigan’s team was not available for the Colorado State game, as point guard DeVante’ Jones was out due to a concussion. But Howard confirmed on Friday that the grad transfer did practice with the team and will be a game-time decision on Saturday.
“I will be on my knees tonight praying he will hopefully be ready to go tomorrow, because we’re going to need all hands on deck,” Howard said.
Michigan and Tennessee tipoff at 5:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS.