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Where Tennessee Basketball’s Program Ranks Over Last 27 Years

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

It may be the college basketball offseason but analytics guru Ken Pomeroy is hard at work this week updating the “program ratings” on his popular college basketball site

Tennessee basketball landed at No. 15 nationally and third in the SEC in the program ratings. The ratings takes into account every season since 1996-97 meaning that it accounts for the last 27 college basketball seasons.

After making a run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last March, Tennessee moved up four-spots in the ratings from No. 19 to No. 15.

While the Vols haven’t had one big season, they’re one of two teams in the top 25 without a Final Four appearance, they’ve been a consistent beacon of success.

Tennessee’s 16 trips to the NCAA Tournament over the last 27 years is tied for the 22nd most in the country over that stretch. The Vols’ seven trips to the Sweet 16 over the last 27 years is tied for the 19th most in the country over that stretch.

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Rick Barnes, who is entering his ninth season as Tennessee’s head coach, is the Vols’ longest tenured head coach over that 27 year stretch while four coaches — Bruce Pearl (three), Barnes (two), Cuonzo Martin (one) and Jerry Green (one) — have led Tennessee to the seven Sweet 16 appearances.

Tennessee is one of just three current SEC programs in the top 25 in the program ratings. Kentucky leads the way at No. 2 and Florida comes in right ahead of Tennessee at No. 14. Once SEC expansion is official in a year, Texas would bump Tennessee down a spot in the SEC rankings. The Longhorns currently stand at No. 13 in the program ratings due in large part to the strong work of Barnes during his Texas tenure.

Other SEC programs of note’s program ratings: Alabama (26), Arkansas (28), LSU (43), Auburn (45) and Vanderbilt (59).

Tennessee could climb the list again next season if they live up to expectations this winter. Barnes’ ninth Tennessee team projects as a top 10 team thanks to returners Santiago Vescovi and Zakai Zeigler as well as newcomers Dalton Knecht and Freddie Dilione.

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