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NCAA: Tennessee Volunteers - American Eagles Postgame

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Aaaahh!
Aaaahh!
      Photo credit: dizznbonn

Well, that was a wilder one than we had hoped for, wasn't it?

Even after the nailbiters in the SEC tournament, and the Duke squeaker (which, by the way, makes our squeaker look like a pleasure cruise in comparison), I don't think any of us were truly prepared for a 1-point difference with 5 minutes to to.

Joel and Jackson are taking in some of the action of the later games, so their comments are not likely to be seen until this evening or tomorrow sometime. But I'm sure Joel will have a lot to say about the atmosphere inside the arena, and Jackson will likely have something to say about the ADA-compliance of the seating in the arena. (ADA -> Americans with Donkeys Act. It covers mules too.)

It's a little difficult to know where to start (mostly due to home projects that are making it difficult for me to spend adequate time on this post), so here's a bullet list of a few of the game pros and cons. I'll update with a table if I get a chance to make one later on.

Pros

  • Score: The only truly important note is that UT won, 72-57. The difference was inflated by the late foul-fest that was American's attempt to catch up. But the Vols advance.
  • Turnovers: The Vols had 12 steals to American's 5, and AU turned the ball over a total of 21 times to UT's 14. That partly made up the difference in...

Cons

  • Rebounds: Gah. AU had 37, we had 25. In particular, they had 16 offensive rebounds to our 4. Not acceptable, for certain. What I saw was a team that watched the ball on its way to the rim rather than work to box out the AU rebounders. A lack of focus? Presumption that they would win? Perhaps, but a habit formed is hard to break.
  • 3-PT shots: This can be summed up in one simple observation. Chism was our best 3-point shooter on the day. JaJuan had more makes, but only because of having more attempts. Howell tried a couple and realized it was a bad idea. (If anybody knows where Howell left his shot, please return it to him in Birmingham ASAP.) Lofton went 0-fer-5.

A side note on Lofton: on the Knoxville local sports radio, there was rumor of Lofton having grabbed at his thigh during warmups and being taken back to the locker room for about 5 minutes. Nobody was able to substantiate anything, but speculation of a hamstring tweak was on. I wasn't able to watch the game consistently enough to track Lofton and see if that was an issue; if you have any thoughts on that, please share them. We'll need Lofton to shoot just a bit better than that if we want to make the Sweet 16.

But again, a win is a win. Bring on the next round!