NASHVILLE, TN — The Tennessee Volunteers earned a number four seed in the NCAA Tournament East Regional Sunday. They will play 13th seed Louisiana Thursday in Orlando with a possible second round game against Duke looming if they win.
But the Volunteers know that their prospects to advance aren’t that great. With their top point guard out for the rest of the season, all three analysts on the CBS selection show picked Louisiana to upset Tennessee.
The other thing folks are weighing is Tennessee hasn’t fared well in recent NCAAs. Last year they were a number three seed and went out in the second round. They have never reached a Final Four, but made the Sweet 16 seven years ago.
This is their fifth straight season reaching the NCAA Tournament under head coach Rick Barnes.
“We have as good a chance as anyone else,” Barnes told the Associated Press Sunday. “A lot of teams would like to be where we are now.”
Tennessee led the nation in total defensive efficiency. But their offensive inconsistency caught up with them down the stretch. They lost seven of their final 12 games.
They won two SEC Tournament games before losing to Missouri in the semifinals. They begin the NCAAs with a 23-10 record.