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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee's final game of the season could serve as a microcosm for its entire year.
The Volunteers stumbled through the first half, played its best down the stretch and gained plenty of respect by the time it ended. The Volunteers erased nearly all of a 15-point deficit Friday before falling 73-71 to Michigan, capping a remarkable run from the NCAA tournament bubble to the Midwest Regional semifinals.
The Vols (24-13) now must replace the nucleus of a team that earned Tennessee its first NCAA tournament appearance in three years. The first of many questions is whether forward Jarnell Stokes will be back.
Stokes hasn't decided whether to enter the NBA draft or return for his senior season. If he leaves, Tennessee would lose four of its top five scorers.