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Tennessee in the SEC Tournament: Something Really, Really Bad Could Still Happen, You Know

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The Tennessee Volunteer men's basketball team has earned for itself a coveted excused absence for the first round of the SEC Tournament that starts today in New Orleans. That Cuonzo and the guys have absolutely crushed expectations into a fine orange powder in the process makes it all the more special. The team no one thought would matter gets to show up late, sit on the sofa, and watch eight other teams have to prove themselves worthy of advancement to the day the Vols have already earned.

The scenario we're living this Thursday practically forces reasonable fans to characterize the 2011-2012 season a success regardless of what happens the rest of the way. We're so far out in front of where we should have been that we can celebrate the season even if we don't win another game. There is nothing that can happen that is so bad that it will diminish what the team has accomplished this year.

Well, maybe not nothing. The contrarians among us do so like a challenge, so we have cooked up the following list of things that would be so utterly embarrassing, distasteful, or otherwise negative that they could in fact take us back to square one in one fell swoop. (Have you ever noticed that swoops are always of the fell variety? But I digress.)

So here's the list of Really, Really Bad Things that could happen that would make you change your mind.

  • Tornado requires relocation from New Orleans to Georgia Dome.
  • The team takes the court wearing crimson and white. Clay Travis loads his Twitter gun and grins a Grinchish grin.
  • Jarnell Stokes uses the entire game to practice his three-point shot.
  • Halftime show: Bud Ford Comedy Hour.
  • Skylar McBee shaves his mustache and pastes it on Trae Golden's bald head.
  • Cuonzo Martin wears a jester suit for the first half and coaches the entire second half as a mime.
  • Dave Hart appears on local talk radio this afternoon to self-report that Cuonzo Martin has been seen at a seedy BBQ joint with Lane Kiffin and a car full of guns and hookers. In response, he bans Pat Summitt and Peyton Manning from campus. Derek Dooley compares this to the Tet Offensive because it's the first "war thing" that pops into his head, and Jim Chaney and Jay Graham go out for burgers and never return.
  • Cam Tatum gets a sudden case of the Superstitions and stops to kiss the center court logo every time across.
  • Wes Rucker and Mike Griffith get in a hissy fit slap fight on media row over who has more actual Twitter followers. Rucker pushes Griff into Bob Kesling, who spills his game time bourbon on Bert Bertlekamp's new fleece yoga pants. Bert yells "Money!" which triggers an auto-summoning of the NCAA.
  • The athletic department strikes a hasty overnight deal with Nike, and the team shows up in super reflective orange dri fit full-body spandex suits, 70s style short shorts, brown sneakers, metal headbands, and checkerboard facepaint with QR codes prominently positioned on the players' foreheads. They're called Super Awesome Power Guerrilla Fray With a Hint o' Orange unis, and reportedly, the players love them. Except for the part where fans are trying to scan their foreheads while they're shooting free throws.
  • John Calipari gives the pre-game locker room speech.
  • You get the idea. Something could happen that is so bad that we're still disappointed with the season.

    But probably not.