Tennessee ended Mercer’s Cinderella run in the second round of the Midwest Region with a dominating 83-63 win on Sunday in Raleigh, N.C.
Mercer didn’t score for more than three minutes to begin the game, fumbling through a series of possessions that included a sloppy shot-clock violation forced by Tennessee’s stingy defense. The Volunteers opened up a double-digit lead early and never looked back, led by a stellar performance from Josh Richardson, who scored 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting. The Volunteers’ Jarnell Stokes grabbed 18 rebounds, more than Mercer had as a team.
Still, with their win over Duke on Friday, the Bears clinched their best NCAA tournament showing ever. Tennessee plays Michigan on Friday in the Sweet 16, its first appearance there since 2010.