RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tennessee came to Tobacco Road and turned it into “Raleigh Top.”
Jarnell Stokes had 17 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds, and the Volunteers denied Mercer a second straight upset in the NCAA tournament by routing the Bears 83-63 on Sunday night.
Josh Richardson had a career-high 26 points and Antonio Barton had 18 for the 11th-seeded Vols (24-12), who outrebounded Mercer 41-19 and kept the Southeastern Conference perfect in the tournament.
They joined Florida and Kentucky in the round of 16 — the first time three SEC teams made it that far since 2007.
Tennessee will face second-seeded Michigan (27-8) in a Midwest Regional semifinal Friday night in Indianapolis.
Stokes broke his 2-day-old school tournament record for rebounds.
Langston Hall had 15 points to lead the 14th-seeded Bears (27-9). They knocked off Duke in the signature upset of the tournament but couldn’t answer Tennessee’s size.
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