Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Vols Projected to Make NCAA Tournament by Joe Lunardi

Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

Tennessee’s men’s basketball team is off to their best start in seven years. The Vols are ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2010, and their 7-1 start to this season is their best start since they began the 2010-11 season with a 7-1 record.

And now one of the most well-known college basketball analysts is projecting the Vols to make it into the NCAA Tournament for only the second time since that 2010-11 season.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi recently released his latest round of projections in his “bracketology,” and he has the Vols making the 68-team field for the Big Dance. According to Lunardi, the Vols could earn a 7-seed into this year’s tournament. Lunardi has the Vols playing in the West bracket and playing their opening round match-up against 10th seed Maryland.

The Vols’ tournament résumé is one of the best in the country right now. Tennessee currently has the No. 7 RPI in the country, and they have the 24th-best strength of schedule in the nation. They’re 3-1 against teams ranked inside the top 100 of the RPI and are 1-1 against teams inside the top 25 of the RPI, owning a win against Purdue and a loss to Villanova.

Tennessee has a big opportunity to improve their already impressive résumé in their next game. The Vols will host No. 11 North Carolina on Sunday, December 17th, and that game will give them another chance to take down a highly-ranked team.

Lunardi has seven SEC teams currently in his NCAA Tournament bracket projections. He has Kentucky in as a 2-seed, Texas A&M as a 2-seed, Florida in as a 4-seed, Arkansas in as an 8-seed, Alabama in as a 9-seed, and Missouri in as an 11-seed in one of the play-in games.

The last time the Vols made the NCAA Tournament was in 2014, and they got in as an 11-seed in the play-in game. Tennessee would wind up making it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen that year. A 7-seed would be the Vols’ best seeding since they were a 6-seed in the 2010 tournament. That 2010 team put together the Vols’ best tournament run in program history, making it to the Elite Eight before being bounced by Michigan State, 70-69.

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *