Zack Novak scored 14 points, including two 3-pointers in a decisive spurt to start the second half, and Michigan beat listless Tennessee 75-45 on Friday in the West region.
The loss was the eighth in 12 games for the Volunteers (19-15), and coach Bruce Pearl’s future is in question after his athletic director recently said “the jury is still out” on whether Pearl will return.
In only their second NCAA tournament appearance since 1998, the eighth-seeded Wolverines (21-13) turned a four-point halftime lead into a rout when they got hot from the outside and found a way to stop Tennessee freshman Tobias Harris.
After scoring 19 points and not missing a combined 13 shots from the field and foul line in the first half, Harris went scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting as ninth-seeded Tennessee was outscored 42-16.
Purdue 65, St. Peter’s 43
E’Twaun Moore scored 19 points and JuJuan Johnson added 16 with 16 rebounds as third-seeded Purdue routed St. Peter’s in the second round of the Southwest Region.
The Boilermakers (26-7), who made the round of 16 the previous two seasons, will face the Georgetown-Virginia Commonwealth winner Sunday at the United Center for a return trip.
Winning their first game in the NCAA tournament is commonplace for the Boilermakers. They’ve now captured their opener in their last 13 appearances.
Illinois 73, UNLV 62
Mike Davis tied his season high with 22 points, Demetri McCamey added 17 points and seven assists as Illinois dominated UNLV.
The ninth-seeded Illini (20-13) took control with an early 15-0 run and led by as many as 25 in a surprisingly easy rout after losing 10 of their previous 16 games to bring into question whether they’d even make it into the bracket.
Bruce Weber’s squad led by double digits throughout the second half against eighth-seeded UNLV (24-9), with former Illini coach Lon Kruger in charge. Next up for Illinois is a Sunday night clash against No. 1 seed Kansas.
Oscar Bellfield scored 14 to lead the Runnin’ Rebels, who lost for just the second time in their last eight games.