Tennessee’s track record in the 2017-18 basketball season is one of the best in college basketball. And the NCAA Tournament selection committee agrees.
On Sunday, the NCAA selection committee gave a view into their their thought process as they previewed which teams would earn their top 16 seeds for the tournament if the season ended today. And the Vols were one of those 16 teams, coming in at No. 13 on their list.
#MarchMadness Top 16 Seeds!
10. Texas Tech
11. Michigan State
12. North Carolina
14. Ohio State
16. Oklahoma#BracketPreview (as of today) pic.twitter.com/qn967GDjvY
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 11, 2018
Tennessee and Auburn are the only two SEC teams to crack the top 16 seeds. And according to the preview, the Vols are currently a No. 4 seed in the tournament. Auburn is the top No. 2 seed according to the selection committee. Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, and Purdue are the top four teams per the committee.
The Vols just suffered a blowout loss on the road to Alabama on Saturday, but their body of work before that game is enough to cushion the blow. Tennessee currently sits at No. 13 in the RPI and has a 4-4 record against teams inside the top 25 of the RPI and doesn’t have a single “bad loss” on their record.
Tennessee hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2014 during Cuonzo Martin’s last season as the Vols’ head coach. Of the 12 times the Vols have made the NCAA Tournament since it expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Tennessee has earned a No. 4 seed or better only five times. The last time the Vols were one of the top 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament was when they were given a No. 2 seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
After Saturday’s beat down at the hands of Alabama, Tennessee travels back to Knoxville for a home game against South Carolina. The Vols then go on the road to Georgia next Saturday then come back to Knoxville to host Florida the Wednesday after.