Lady Vols Projected in NCAA Tournament in Latest Bracketology

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    Photo by Caitlyn Jordan/RTI

    The 23rd-ranked Lady Vols currently sit at 13-3 under first-year head coach Kellie Harper after Sunday’s 73-56 win over Georgia. As a result of their early season success, ESPN’s Charlie Creme projects Tennessee to make the NCAA Tournament as a 9-seed.

    In Creme’s bracket, the Lady Vols would play in the Dallas region. They would either face eight-seed Florida Gulf Coast or the champion of the Atlantic Sun Conference in the first round of the tournament in Waco. Were the Lady Vols to win, they’d likely face one-seed Baylor in the second round.

    Tennessee is one of seven projected SEC teams to make the tournament. UT joins South Carolina (1-seed), Mississippi State (3), Texas A&M (4), Kentucky (5), Arkansas (7), and LSU (7) in the projected field of 64.

    Four games into conference play, the Lady Vols sit at 3-1 with an 11-point win over Missouri and a 56-point win over Ole Miss to go along with Sunday’s 17-point win over UGA. Tennessee’s lone SEC loss came to No. 13 Kentucky last Sunday in Lexington when the Lady Vols fell 80-76.

    Tennessee is the only women’s basketball program in the country to compete in all 38 NCAA Tournaments since the tournament was first established in 1982. Following Sunday’s win over Georgia, the Lady Vols still have the most wins (1,376) by a women’s basketball program in Division I history.

    Defense and rebounding has allowed Tennessee to position itself to make the NCAA Tournament. Entering Sunday’s home contest against Georgia, the Lady Vols ranked No. 2 nationally in rebounding at 51.1 rebounds per game. That is currently on pace to set a new school record. The previous high was 469 rebounds in 1992-93.

    Defensively, Tennessee ranks No. 1 in the SEC. The Lady Vols are holding opponents to 33.7 percent shooting from the field, which is the lowest in the conference. They’re allowed just 58.0 points in SEC contests, which ranks second in the league.

    Rennia Davis has led the Lady Vols and has proven to be a star. She’s scored in double figures in 13-straight games and in 14 of 15 contests this season. Davis ranks second in scoring in conference games at 21.0 points per game.

    Following Sunday’s game against Georgia, Tennessee will hit the road to take on Florida in Gainesville on Thursday night. Tip-off is slated for 6:00 PM Eastern.

    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also the host of the RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.