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Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes Talks Win Over Creighton in the Sweet 16

Rick Barnes
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes. Photo via NCAA Communications.

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes is officially taking the Vols to their second Elite Eight in program history and the first during his tenure in Knoxville. Two-seed Tennessee defeated three-seed Creighton in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night in Detroit, Michigan.

The Vols defeated the Blue Jays by a score of 82-75 in Little Caesars Arena.

“Really proud of the effort defensively,” Barnes said after the game. “Again, they do a lot of things that are really difficult. Also, we made a run, and this time of year you expect them to make a run, which they did. But really proud of the way our guys stayed with each other, did what we had to do.”

While Creighton had the one-point lead at halftime, Tennessee erupted for an 18-0 run during the second half to give them enough separation to get to the finish line. SEC Player of the Year Dalton Knecht scored six points during the Vols’ run but dominated the floor in general, scoring or assisting on 16 of Tennessee’s 18 points during the run.

“He got it going,” Barnes said of Knecht during the run. “Obviously our guys have seen it when they do that, they’re going to try to play to him.”

After the game, Barnes took the stage to meet with members of the media in Detroit. Barnes spoke about Tennessee’s play on Ryan Kalkbrenner, Jahmai Mashack’s impact on the game, Tobe Awaka’s surge, and much more.

Tennessee will now take on 1-seed Purdue in the Elite Eight on Sunday afternoon at 2:20 p.m. ET.

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More from RTI: Creighton Basketball Talks Loss To Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen

Check out Rick Barnes’ full Sweet 16 postgame press conference below:

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