I have a copy of the Kentucky game. I went so far as to open it in the program I use to make GIFs, because despite the outcome I thought Caris LeVert's block/tie-up of Julius Randle was worth GIFing for future reference. Naturally, CBS showed one useless replay angle and cut off the second, useful angle halfway through the play.
There will be no Kentucky GIFs today.
Anyway, the Tennessee game worked out much better and also provided several great moments, none more important than the charge Jordan Morgan drew on Jarnell Stokes:
I know this is an utterly pointless exercise, but this call has been much-discussed—was it really a charge, or did Morgan just hit the deck at the first sign of contact?
Unless you want to argue that Morgan committed a blocking foul—dubious, in my opinion—then the answer is irrelevant. Watch Caris LeVert poke the ball away as the contact occurs; watch how the ball voodoo-spins and somehow stays inbounds, and LeVert making the heads up play to go after it until the whistle blows. If this had been a no-call, it would've been a steal, and the song remains the same.
Since Stokes lowered his shoulder like he was Marshawn Lynch in the open field against a safety, this whole aside was probably unnecessary.
[Hit THE JUMP for the bench mob ending the season in style, Nik Stauskas going Harlem Globetrotter, DEATH FROM ABOVE, and more.]
As usual, click the links/stills to open each GIF in a lightbox, and don't forget to vote for your favorite at the end of the post.
Walton no-look to Morgan for the slam.
Walton and Morgan pick-and-roll perfection.
LeVert and Morgan pick-and-roll perfection.
One fan got really excited after Stauskas's corner three.
Absurd Stauskas scoop.
Morgan and-one and mean-mugging.
LeVert vs. Maymon: Mismatch.
Irvin back-to-back threes, McGary reaction (see #2).
Irvin hits another, McGary is still enthusiastic.
GRIII triple, Dakich gun-holster-to-pirouette.
GRIII lightning-quick first step and slam.
The bench, especially Irvin, celebrates the charge call.
10. Yakety Assist
Caris LeVert didn't actually get an assist on this play, though if you look closely it sure looks like he knocks the ball directly to Stauskas, even if it admittedly took quite a bit of effort from Stauskas to get to the ball.
9. Just Another Unstoppable Nik Stauskas Pullup Three
Title says it all, I believe. Sometimes a play becomes so routine you forget how remarkable it is.
8. Morgan Blocks Maymon
The rare GIF that perfectly encapsulates two players's respective performances.
7. Didn't Call It
Oh, to be within earshot as Walton came back to the bench.
6. DEATH FROM ABOVE
It's damn near impossible to run a fast break any better than this. The timing, spacing, and passing are sublime. Just look at how quickly every Michigan player gets into their lane—even Morgan, who makes the initial rebound and still gets into rebounding position by the time Stauskas is shooting.
5. Cheerleader Stankface
This is great on its own, and also helpfully covers Tennessee's second-half run in as much detail as I'd care to go into.
4. The Tournament Is His Playground
Well that's an awful sho-- ohhhhhhhh.
3. Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Big Man
This wonderful celebration came after back-to-back Zak Irvin threes, which are included (along with McGary's reaction) in the Honorable Mentions; this had to be a standalone GIF, though.
2. The Bench Mob
Can digital picture frames handle GIFs? Asking for a friend.
FRAMES OF THE GAME: The Charge
The Bench Mob GIF should win, but this was too remarkable not to put at the top of the list—Jordan Morgan, the man who killed Otto The Orange, did it again:
The basket support makes it difficult to see, but yes, that is Smokey—Tennessee's plush mascot, which is totally superfluous since they have a real live Smokey—going down in a heap after Morgan drew the charge.
Smokey's demise, enhanced:
Until the bitter end, J-Mo took no prisoners.