Report: Vols to Play in Another Prestigious Early Season Tournament

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    Tennessee has made it a habit of participating in prestigious early season tournaments in men’s basketball over the last few years. And according to a report, it looks like the Vols have another tournament booked in the coming years.

    Per a report from Jeff Goodman of WatchStadium.com, Tennessee will participate in the 2020 Charleston Classic during the 2020-21 college basketball season. The Vols will be one of eight teams in the tournament. According to Goodman, the other teams participating along with UT include Houston, Seton Hall, Florida State, VCU, Oklahoma State, Penn State, and Charleston. Each team will play three games in three days regardless of results.

    Including the Vols, five of the eight teams reportedly taking place in the Charleston Classic made the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Tennessee, Houston, Seton Hall, Florida State, and VCU all made the Big Dance this past season.

    Tennessee has played in a November tournament each season under Rick Barnes. The Vols played in the Barclays Center Classic in 2015, the Maui Invitational in 2016, the Battle at Atlantis in the Bahamas in 2017, and the NIT Season-Tip-Off this past season.

    In those tournaments, Tennessee is 4-6. The Vols have picked up wins over Chaminade (Maui), NC State (Bahamas), Purdue (Bahamas), and Louisville (NIT). Their losses include Nebraska (Barclays), George Washington (Barclays), Wisconsin (Maui), Oregon (Maui), Villanova (Bahamas), and Kansas (NIT).

    This upcoming season, UT will participate in the Emerald Coast Classic — a college basketball tournament held in Destin, Florida during Thanksgiving break. VCU, Florida State, and Purdue will also participate in the tournament. That means the Vols could possibly play VCU and Florida State in back-to-back seasons depending on how these tournaments play out.

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    As for the rest of the 2019-20 schedule, it has not been finalized as of yet. But Tennessee is set to have home games against Memphis (Dec. 14) and Wisconsin (Dec. 28) for their non-conference slate.

    The Vols will have several tough games away from Thompson-Boling Arena this season as well. On Dec. 18, Tennessee will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats. They will also be on the road this season for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge and will likely play Washington in Toronto during the upcoming season.

    Tennessee tied a program record with 31 wins this past season. The Vols went 15-3 in conference play and didn’t lose a single game at home in 18 contests. After falling to Auburn in the SEC Tournament title game, Tennessee earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and lost to Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen after defeating Colgate and Iowa in the first and second round, respectively.

    Over the last two years, the Vols have gone a combined 57-15, have won a share of one SEC regular season title, have made it to back-to-back SEC Tournament Finals, and have reached the Sweet Sixteen.