Vols Make History in Win Over Wright State

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    (Photo via Kyle Zedaker/UT Sports)

    Tennessee didn’t just beat Wright State on Thursday afternoon in the Round of 64 of the 2018 NCAA Tournament; they made history with their victory.

    Here’s a look at how good the Vols were on Thursday by the numbers.

    47 – The Vols held Wright State to just 47 points on Thursday, and that marks the fewest points any team has ever scored against Tennessee in their NCAA Tournament history. Thursday’s first round game marked the 41st NCAA Tournament game the Vols had played in during their 100-plus year history, and no team had ever scored less than 51 points against them.

    That is, until Thursday.

    26 – Not only did Tennessee’s defense smother the Raiders, but the Vols’ offense did enough to force a large margin of victory as well. Tennessee’s 26-point victory was the second-largest margin of victory for Tennessee in their NCAA Tournament history. The only win that surpassed that total was Tennessee’s 121-86 victory over Long Beach State in the first round of the 2007 tournament.

    31.7 – The Vols held Wright State to shoot just 31.7 percent from the field in the game. That marks the second-lowest shooting percentage by a Tennessee opponent in the Vols’ NCAA Tournament history.

    19 – Tennessee’s defense forced the Raiders to take bad shots, and Wright State had trouble making shots even when the Vols weren’t right in their face. The Raiders’ 19 percent shooting from three is the third-worst three-point shooting percentage by any Vol opponent in tournament history as well.

    17 – The 17 turnovers that Tennessee forced on Thursday are tied for the third-most the Vols have forced in a single NCAA Tournament game since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

    But the history that Tennessee made on Thursday wasn’t contained to just their match-up with Wright State.

    26 & 10 – The victory gave the Vols their 26th win, and that ties them with the 1999-2000 team for the third-most wins in a single season in school history. The win also gave them 10 more victories than the 16 they had last year. That ties the school record for biggest win improvement from one season to the next since Tennessee joined the SEC in the 1932-33 season. The 1978-79 team won 21 games after the 1978-77 team won just 11.

    Tennessee didn’t just win and advance to the next round of the tournament on Thursday; they ended up making some history in the process.



    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.