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Bracketology: Where Tennessee Lands in Early Projections After Portal Pickups

Tennessee basketball
Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee remains steady as a No. 4 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest early bracketology report this week, with only a small change from his previous update two weeks ago.

In Lunardi’s report from May 3, Tennessee was the fourth seed in the West Region. The ESPN expert continues to see Tennessee as the fourth seed in this week’s projection but has the Vols in the South Region in Atlanta. The South Region will certainly be Tennessee’s nearest Sweet 16/Elite 8 location. The Midwest Region is in Indianapolis, the East Region is in Newark, and the West Region is in San Francisco.

Tennessee matches up with 13-seed High Point in the first round with a potential matchup against either 5-seed Xavier or 12-seed McNeese in the second round. That weekend is projected to take place in Cleveland, Ohio.

Elsewhere in the South Region projection is Ole Miss as the eight-seed, North Carolina as the three-seed, Michigan State as the seven-seed, and Houston as the one-seed.

Tennessee is one of 10 teams from the Southeastern Conference in the May 2 projections, which is the same as the previous projection:

Midwest (Indianapolis): 3 Alabama, 8 Mississippi State
West (San Francisco): 3 Auburn, 5 Texas A&M, 7 Florida
South (Atlanta): 4 Tennessee, 8 Ole Miss
East (Newark): 4 Texas, 7 Arkansas, 8 Kentucky
First Four Out: Missouri

More from RTI: Jonas Aidoo, John Calipari Will Return to Knoxville During 2024-2025 Season

Tennessee lost a lot of production over the offseason through both graduation and the portal but also gained a trio of talented players themselves. Tennessee signed a trio of veteran players out of the portal who can help the Vols fill the gaps of departed players next season. The Vols brought in stretch-four Igor Milicic Jr. from Charlotte, true center Felix Okpara from Ohio State, and all-around playmaker Darlinstone “DStone” Dubar from Hofstra.

There’s still a long, long way until the 2024-2025 basketball season and even a longer time until the postseason next spring. But according to Lunardi’s latest projections, Tennessee looks to be right there in the mix of things with the SEC’s top teams as only Auburn and Alabama have a higher seed, just one above.

To see Joe Lunardi’s from May 14 for ESPN, click here.

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