Halftime: Tennessee 41, Michigan State 39

ST. LOUIS -- Some quick halftime thoughts:

  • Great offensive half of basketball. Fairly stunning to see the Volunteers just tear up the Spartans' defense to open the game. Tennessee made its first six 3-point shots but didn't take a big lead, because Michigan State was scoring at will as well. There were points scored on the first 13 possessions of the game.

  • The Volunteers were 6-of-9 from 3-point range, while the Spartans were just 2 of 9.

  • Tennessee shot 56 percent for the half. Michigan State shot 48 percent.

  • The Spartans hung in there in large part by doing what they do best, crashing the offensive glass. They had 10 offensive rebounds and were a plus-seven rebounding, scoring 11 second-chance points. Nobody for Tennessee had more than two rebounds.

  • Pesky Tennessee backup point guard Melvin Goins made life difficult for fill-in Michigan State point Korie Lucious, helping force him into three first-half turnovers. Lucious was just 1-of-4 from the field, but had three assists and three steals.