Bracketology Update: Where Tennessee Stands Entering Regular Season Finale

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    Tennessee basketball concludes its regular season Saturday afternoon against No. 14 Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena.

    The matchup pits two of the SEC’s hottest teams against one another. Arkansas has won 14 of its last 15 games including last month’s meetings between the two teams in Fayetteville, and Tennessee has won 11 of its last 13 games.

    Let’s look at where Tennessee is projected in NCAA Tournament projections heading into the regular season finale.

    ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Tennessee as the three-seed in the Midwest Region, facing 14th-seed Texas State in the first round. If the Vols get past the Bobcats they’d face the winner of sixth-seed Ohio State and 11th-seed Davidson.

    The Bobcats are one of the best mid major teams in the country and beat Alabama in Birmingham in December. Ohio State has had an up-and-down season but boasts one of the nation’s best low-post scorers, EJ Liddell.

    Lunardi has Tennessee playing its first weekend games in Pittsburgh. The Midwest Region semifinal and final (Sweet 16 and Elite 8) will take place in Chicago.

    The other top seeds in the Midwest Region include No. 1 seed Baylor, No. 2 seed Duke and No. 4 seed Houston.

    CBS’ Jerry Palm is lower on Rick Barnes’ seventh Tennessee team, pegging them as a four-seed in the East Region with a particularly interesting first round draw. The Vols would face 13-seed Tennessee-Chattanooga and the winner of No. 5 seed UConn and No. 12 seed Iona if they can get past the Mocs.

    Other top seeds in Palm’s East Region include No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Villanova. CBS’ projection as has Tennessee playing its opening weekend games in Pittsburgh. The East Region semifinal and final will take place in Philadelphia.

    From the SEC, both Lunardi and Palm have Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and LSU their brackets while Palm also has Florida in his “Last Four In”. Lunardi has the Gators in his “Next Four Out”.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.