Tennessee Basketball's Current Rank in Latest March Madness Predictions

Tennessee men’s basketball continues to solidify its place as a force to be reckoned with in the collegiate basketball scene, eyeing a No. 1 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament under the experienced guidance of coach Rick Barnes. Mid-February insights, courtesy of the “March Madness Bracket Preview Show” on CBS, placed the Vols impressively at No. 6 in the national rankings. They enter March as the No. 4 ranked team in the country, according to the latest AP Top 25.

The determination and skill displayed by the team have once again put Tennessee basketball in the spotlight, promising an exciting path toward March Madness.

Tennessee Basketball Aimed for No. 2 Seed in Upcoming NCAA Tournament

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has envisioned the Vols clinching the No. 2 seed in the South Regional, set to unfold in Dallas. His brackets predict a first-round clash between the Vols and the No. 15 seed Fairfield. Should Tennessee triumph, they’re likely to face either No. 7 Colorado State or No. 10 Wake Forest in what promises to be an electrifying second-round match during the Charlotte opening weekend.

In another angle, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm situates Tennessee as a formidable No. 2 seed in Detroit’s Midwest Regional, pitted against No. 15 Morehead State in the preliminary round. Advancement would potentially pit UT against either No. 7 TCU or No. 10 Colorado, with the games kicking off in Memphis. 

Of course, these projections and the March Madness lines will likely change in the final days leading up to Selection Sunday. Tennessee even has a chance to move up to a No. 1 seed if they keep winning and things fall in place. 

Tennessee Basketball’s NCAA Tournament Credentials

Tennessee’s road to securing such a prestigious seed in the NCAA Tournament is marked by a series of significant victories and challenging setbacks. The Vols have demonstrated impressive prowess on the road with standout wins at Wisconsin in November and a notable victory at Kentucky in February.

Furthermore, UT’s commanding 20-point win over Alabama in January and a solid victory against Illinois in December underscore the team’s capacity for dominating performances against well-established and ranked schools. Neutral-site matchups also saw the Vols triumphing against Syracuse and N.C. State, adding to their list of impressive accomplishments.

However, the path has not been without its hurdles. The Vols encountered five Quad 1 losses throughout the season, falling to North Carolina, Kansas, Purdue, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M. Notably, the first three of these losses were against teams projected to be No. 1 or No. 2 seeds in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, illustrating the strong competition faced.

Despite these setbacks, the significance of these games against highly-ranked opponents cannot be underestimated. Additionally, Tennessee experienced a Quad 2 loss to South Carolina, further indicating the rigorous competition and the high stakes in college basketball.

Rick Barnes’ Impact on Tennessee Basketball in NCAA Tournaments

Rick Barnes has undeniably transformed Tennessee basketball into a consistent contender in the NCAA Tournaments. Since his tenure began, the Vols have impressively reached five straight tournaments, starting in the 2017-18 season – Barnes’ third year at the helm. This marks a significant achievement, considering Tennessee hadn’t participated in the tournament since 2014, before his arrival.

Under Barnes’ leadership, the Vols have made two trips to the Sweet 16 in 2019 and 2023 out of their nine historic appearances in the tournament. The narrative of Dalton Knecht’s rise to stardom at Tennessee, further evolving into an NBA Draft prospect, epitomizes the untold success stories under Barnes’ tenure.

Achieving top-5 seeds in each of the last five tournament appearances, the Vols were seeded No. 2 in 2019 – only the third time in program history – when they reached the Sweet 16. Additionally, they secured No. 3 seeds in the 2018 and 2021 tournaments, though they were ousted in the second round in both instances.

What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in:Basketball