After two years of bracket heartbreak, a couple of shockers in the first two regions had Tennessee fans fully prepared for a third dose. The blue bloods of Kentucky fell all the way to an 8 seed, suggesting the selection committee was not a big fan of the SEC. Then NC State - who appeared in two of 97 projections in the Bracket Matrix - snuck into a play-in game in Dayton. Suddenly the question wasn't Dayton or not Dayton, but dance or not dance?
But salvation came via the Midwest Region: Tennessee is indeed on the dance floor, or whatever percentage of the dance floor exists in Dayton, and will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday night. The winner advances to Raleigh as an 11 seed and will face 6 seed UMass on Friday. Should we advance again, 3 seed Duke would be waiting on Sunday.
We'll have much more on the matchup with Iowa coming soon - we'll point you right away to our sister site Black Heart Gold Pants for plenty on the Hawkeyes. Iowa started the year 15-3 with wins over Xavier, Nebraska, and Ohio State and losses to Villanova in the Bahamas with us, at Iowa State, and at Wisconsin. But Iowa went 5-9 down the stretch, including one win (over lowly Purdue) in their last seven games.
The Vols survived. Now let's see if we can advance.