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Tennessee Basketball And The SEC Tournament

You know, memes are curious things. They are generally birthed out of a spot of truth, but they often grow so big and live so long that they end up looking less like their parent Truth and more like Truth was infertile and rescued a rabid pit bull from the shelter instead. For instance: Lane Kiffin is an incompetent liar! Wait.

The SEC cheats! Uh . . .

The Big 10 is slow! [sigh]

Well, memes aren't always true, just trust me.

Case in point. The SEC Men's Basketball Tournament is an inescapable black hole for Tennessee basketball. It was true once, but Bruce Pearl has actually turned that battleship around, and Wes Rucker has the facts to prove it. The Vols have been to the semifinals the past three years, and they've played at least three games in the past two tourneys. It's been something like 30 years since that's happened. Yeah, Pearl still hasn't won the thing, but it's no longer a foregone conclusion that the Vols can't have success in the SEC Tournament.

So how will this year's team do in the SEC Tournament? Well, the "Who Knows" meme is still green and growing, thank you very much, and the injury situation isn't helping. Brian Williams, who's missed the last two games with a trick back, is . . . back . . . at practice, but Pearl may have to burn some timeouts just to oil the Tin Man. Worse, starting point guard Melvin Goins is "violently ill" with a "virus" that is making it a challenge to "retain fluids." Let's keep the oil away from him and hope he regains strength in all of the right muscles for tomorrow night's opening game.

And throw this into the Who Knows potion: yesterday's practice emphasized three-point shooting. According to Pearl, three-pointers are important to any offense, but are particularly important to his. He "think[s] we will shoot it better" if we just do a better job of getting the three-point shooters the ball. Does that make anyone besides me nervous? It makes me feel like maybe I have the Goins virus.

Whatever the case, the Vols tip off against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. EST on the SEC Network. Yeah, this is a Who Knows game in a Who Knows season, which of course means, we could run everybody out of the building. Let's do that.