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Tennessee Football and Basketball Combine to Create Impressive Stat

Tennessee Football and Basketball Combine to Create Impressive Stat
Jahmai Mashack//Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Only one school has defeated an AP top three ranked team in the regular season in BOTH football and basketball this academic year.

That school is Tennessee.

And both times Tennessee did it, it was against Alabama.

Tennessee Basketball joined Tennessee Football in accomplishing the feat when the BasketVols upset No. 1 Alabama in Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday night. Powered by an elite defensive performance and balanced offensive night, the Vols defeated the Crimson Tide 68-59 to achieve their biggest win of the season.

Tennessee Football’s top three win also came against the Tide, as it seems UT has had Alabama’s number the past six months. Josh Heupel’s squad knocked off No. 3 Alabama in a 52-49 classic on the Third Saturday in October last fall. The win was Tennessee’s first over the Tide in 16 years.

Beating top three teams is significantly harder in football than it is basketball. In the football regular season, an AP top three team only lost three times, with Tennessee’s win over Alabama, Michigan’s win over Ohio State and Georgia’s win over Tennessee serving as the three times. When looking at Michigan’s and Georgia’s basketball seasons so far, neither team has been able to defeat an AP top three team. Michigan had two opportunities to do so against No. 3 Virginia and No. 1 Purdue, but the Wolverines fell short both times.

Georgia is yet to face a top three team, but the Bulldogs will have their chance to earn a top three win on Saturday when the visit Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Kansas State impressively defeated a top three team in football and basketball, but their football win over TCU came in conference championship weekend–not the regular season. The Wildcats’ top three basketball win came against conference foe Kansas in an overtime thriller in mid-January.

More From RTI: WATCH: Tennessee Celebrates Win Over No. 1 Alabama

Tennessee’s pair of wins over Alabama are indicative of how Tennessee teams have been able to show up for big games in the past year. Tennessee Football recorded six ranked wins last season, and the Vols basketball team now owns three Top 10 wins.

More than beating the top team in the nation, Rick Barnes’ basketball squad bounced back after two heartbreaking losses, a telling sign that this Tennessee team can beat any team on any given night.

“One, I can’t tell you how proud I am of the effort our guys put in the game for 40 minutes defensively,” Vols head coach Rick Barnes said after the win. “Because we won a game against a, really, No. 1 deserved ranking by Alabama… I don’t think these guys have ever come disconnected. Coaching staff did a terrific job, exactly how we wanted to play.”

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