The Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament released its first round matchups on Friday night pitting Tennessee against Butler in the opening round. However, the tournament didn’t confirm its complete bracket.
Tennessee confirmed the first round matchup on Monday while confirming the bracket in the process.
The Vols will face Butler on Wednesday, Nov. 23 in the opening day’s nightcap at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The opening round matchup will be Barnes second against Butler as the Vols’ head coach. Tennessee fell to the Bulldogs in Indianapolis after defeating them in Knoxville the year before.
Thad Matta is taking over at Butler for his second run as head coach at his alma mater. The Bulldogs missed the last four NCAA Tournaments after making the event 11 of the previous 13 years.
Matta last coached in 2017 when Ohio State fired him after a 13-year run as head coach. Tennessee faced Matta a number of times while he was in Columbus including the Vols’ 2010 Sweet 16 win and 2007 Sweet 16 loss.
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Tennessee will face either the winner or the loser — depending on the results on the Butler game — of the Brigham Young-Southern Cal game on Thanksgiving Day.
The Nov. 24 matchup will pit the Vols with one of the better programs on the west coast. USC made the NCAA Tournament each of the last two seasons including a run to the Elite Eight in 2020.
BYU is entering the fourth season under Mark Pope having one NCAA Tournament appearance in his first three years. The Cougars haven’t been far off in the years they missed the “Big Dance” winning 20-plus games all three years under Pope.
Tennessee’s third game at the event will come against one of the four teams on the opposite side of the bracket: Kansas, North Carolina State, Dayton and Wisconsin.
Kansas is the defending National Champion while Wisconsin won a share of the Big 10 regular season title a season ago. North Carolina State and Dayton both missed the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
The Jayhawks and Wildcats face off in the first round of the event as doe the Badgers and Flyers.