Tennessee’s men’s basketball team is riding high after defeating No. 1 Gonzaga last weekend and throttling Memphis 102-92 on Saturday in their first true road game of the season. And national analysts have taken notice of the Vols’ efforts on the court.
The Vols improved to 8-1 on the season after their win over Memphis on Saturday, and they’re riding a four-game winning streak right now. And according to a couple national analysts, this Tennessee team is worth all the hype.
Aaron Torres of FOX Sports Radio and The Athletic said after UT’s big road win over Memphis that the Vols are currently “the best team in college hoops.”
Tennessee beats a rival on its home-court in a game that was never really in doubt. Beat Gonzaga last week in a wild road win. Outplayed Kansas for about 34 minutes but couldn’t close late. I don’t care what the polls say: Tennessee is the best team in college hoops right now
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) December 15, 2018
Tennessee currently sits at No. 3 in the AP Poll and received a first place vote last week in the updated poll after downing then-No. 1 Gonzaga, 76-73. It’s the highest the Vols have been ranked in the AP Poll since they climbed to No. 1 for a week in 2008 after toppling No. 1 Memphis 66-62 as the No. 2 team in the country.
But according to Torres, the Vols are worthy of sitting atop the college basketball world this season right now.
Currently, Kansas has the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll. The Jayhawks are a perfect 9-0 and beat the Vols 87-81 in overtime in the NIT Season Tip-Off over Thanksgiving break. Kansas almost lost their first game since earning that No. 1 ranking on Saturday, though. No. 17 Villanova hung tight and had a lead multiple times against the Jayhawks, but Kansas prevailed late with a 77-74 win at home.
Duke is at No. 2 in the AP Poll and are 9-1 on the year. They haven’t lost since they fell 89-87 to Gonzaga on November 21st.
Torres isn’t the only national analyst who is high on the Vols, however.
Peter Burns of ESPN said this Tennessee’s men’s basketball team could be his favorite college basketball team to watch over the last decade, and he likened them to the 2007 San Antonio Spurs squad in the NBA.
This @Vol_Hoops team might be my favorite CBB squad in last decade
Bona fide stars in Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams
Fantastic role players
A team that isn’t afraid to be coached hard & a Hall of Fame coach willing to do so in Rick Barnes
Like a CBB version of 2007 Spurs.
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) December 15, 2018
The 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs went 58-24 in the regular season and swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals to win their third title in six seasons. That Spurs team lost just four games in the NBA Playoffs.
The Vols are off to their best start in a basketball season since the 2009-10 team also won eight of their first nine games to start the year. That Tennessee basketball squad went 28-9 overall and made it to the program’s only Elite Eight appearance in school history. That team’s 28 wins are the second-most in a season in program history as well, trailing only the 2007-08 team’s 31 victories.