2021-22 Season

NCAA 2022: Michigan vs. Tennessee Recap

It was only ever going to be Eli Brooks. Michigan’s season was on the line, trailing by six against one of the best teams in college basketball, and Brooks went about extending it for another week.

Hunter Dickinson played a great game and Terrance Williams had two crucial plays late, but Michigan’s super senior played the best game of his career when the whole thing was on the line.

He recorded a key steal, hit a pull-up jumper, and scored on a back cut in a three-possession flurry that gave Michigan life. Then he finished an and-one drive to give Michigan the lead and buried the shot of his life to put the game away: A running hook shot flipped toward the rim that miraculously found the net.

The 6-foot-1 combo guard finished with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting with five assists in 39 minutes but those magical plays down the stretch made all the difference.

Brooks was the glue that held Michigan’s season together through seemingly every pitfall imaginable. He sat in front of the media after bad losses. He coached his teammates on the floor. He made the right plays even when his teammates didn’t.

On Saturday in Indianapolis, it was all worth it. He played his 158th career college basketball game and won his 12th NCAA Tournament game. He’s no newcomer to this stage and has played for teams that had moments, but this was his March moment.

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