Coming off the toughest week of the season for Tennessee, the NCAA Tournament selection committee released its bracket preview just in time to slightly cheer up Vol fans. After four years without a tournament appearance, Tennessee is projected to be the No. 4 seed in the East Region.
They join Virginia, Cincinnati and Michigan State as the top seeds of the region. Joining Tennessee as other No. 4 seeds are Ohio State, Oklahoma and Arizona.
Tennessee has shown numerous signs of potential greatness this season, most notably in its early-season victory over projected West Region No. 1 Purdue. In addition, Tennessee managed to beat Kentucky in both of its matchups.
Making the Elite Eight will be a daunting task
Should both Virginia and Tennessee reach the Sweet Sixteen, the Vols will be in position to pull off an upset, but his will be no easy task.
Virginia is a team that plays methodical basketball, wearing down teams mentally and using its stout defense to create easy opportunities on the offensive end. The Cavaliers have found themselves in positions like this before, which will give them an extra edge over the young Vols who are excited to have put themselves in position to make the Big Dance.
This year’s team has all the potential to at least be a Sweet Sixteen team. Making the second weekend of the tournament is quite the accomplishment and comes with the right mixture of game planning and luck on game day.
Being able to withstand runs from teams and then piecing together your own is the key to advancing.
Potential to move up
With a handful of games remaining and the tendency for chaos to take over in college basketball, Tennessee has the potential to move up to a higher ranking.
Finishing first or second in the SEC during the regular season will help. A strong showing in the conference tournament may help to elevate the Vols to a two or three seed in the bracket. Regardless of what happens, the near future looks bright for the Vols, so fans need to start preparing their excuses for calling out of work for the first round of the tournament.