Postseason play is here, but the Vols still have one more week of play before learning their NCAA Tournament draw. Tennessee opens play at the SEC Tournament in Hoover on Wednesday at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET.
The Vols will face the winner of Tuesday’s Ole Miss versus Vanderbilt game— two teams Tennessee swept in the regular season. Tennessee is looking to defend its regular-season title by winning its first SEC Tournament since 1995.
Once Tennessee wraps up play in Hoover, its attention turns to the NCAA Tournament and next Monday’s selection show. Let’s take a look at who Tennessee is projected to face in the most recent predictions from D1Baseball and Baseball America.
Both outlets have Tennessee 49-7 (25-5 SEC) as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament — which would set the Vols up to host both a Regional and Super Regional — but with some changes with the opponents.
D1Baseball has Tennessee facing Coppin State in the first game of the regional with Wake Forest earning the No. 2 seed and Wofford earning the No. 3 seed.
Wake Forest (39-16-1, 15-14-1 ACC) finished in sixth place in the ACC regular season, overcoming a poor stretch in the middle of the season with a series sweep of a solid North Carolina State team to end the regular season.
Baseball America also has Wake Forest as the No. 2 seed in the Knoxville Regional, but has changes to the rest of the field with Campbell coming in as the No. 3 seed and Alabama State as the No. 4 seed.
A common theme of the three and four-seeds in Tennessee’s region is teams that are dynamic on the base paths. One of Tennessee’s few weaknesses this season has been its ability to hold baserunners and prevent stolen bases.
Wofford ranks third nationally with 142 stolen bases on the season while Campbell comes in eighth and Coppin State comes in ninth nationally in stolen bases. On the other side of the coin, Wake Forest is one of the least active teams on the base paths in the country, totaling just 30 stolen bases in the regular season.
If Tennessee makes it to the Super Regional they wold host the winner of the Statesboro Region (Georgia Southern) according to D1Baseball and the winner of the Eugene Region (Oregon) according to Baseball America.
Both pose interesting matchups as Tennessee opened the season sweeping Georgia Southern and was matched up with the Eugene Regional last season when LSU upset the Ducks.
Both Baseball America and D1Baseball have nine SEC teams making the 2022 NCAA Tournament: Texas A&M, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Florida, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Ole Miss joining Tennessee in the field.
Baseball America has Texas A&M, Auburn and Arkansas hosting regionals the opening weekend while D1Baseball just has Texas A&M and Auburn as regional hosts.