For the first time since 2014, the Vols are playing in the NCAA Tournament. And they’ll be doing so in Texas.
Tennessee found out on Sunday just hours after losing to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament Finals that they will be a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will be playing in Dallas, TX for their first game in the South region. The Vols will play No. 14 seed Wright State for their opening match-up.
For the Vols, this marks the first time ever that they’ve earned a three-seed in the tournament. It’s also the second-highest seed the program has ever earned. Tennessee has twice been given a No. 2 seed in the tournament, both times under Bruce Pearl’s guidance.
This is the first time since 2015 that Rick Barnes, Tennessee’s head coach, has made it to the NCAA Tournament. His last appearance came in his last season with Texas when the Longhorns were bounced in the first round.
Tennessee’s last NCAA Tournament appearance back in 2014 went better than most expected. The Vols were one of the last four teams to make it in and played in the play-in game against Iowa as an 11-seed. The Vols would then ride their momentum all the way to the Sweet Sixteen before losing 73-71 to Michigan.
The Vols are in the same region as the top overall seed, Virginia. If Tennessee wins against Wright State, they will play the winner of No. 6 seed Miami and No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago.
The Vols will tip off against Wright State at approximately 12:40 Eastern on Thursday, March 15th.