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Keep Whining, Pastner: Powers-That-Be Working To Continue Vols-Tigers Series

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart tells the Knoxville News-Sentinel's Brendan Quinn that Tennessee and Memphis are attempting to continue the basketball series.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody has heard Scott Pastner play the world's tiniest violin when discussing the Tennessee-Memphis series and the Tigers' desire not to continue it upon moving to the Big East next season.

Apparently, not everybody has gotten the memo.

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart told the Knoxville News-Sentinel's Brendan Quinn tonight that he and Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen have discussed continuing the series. Obviously, the Vols want a presence in Memphis from a recruiting and fan base standpoint, and it is widely believed UT would discontinue football games against the Tigers unless UM kept the basketball series going.

The UT football game is normally a big money maker for Memphis. Hart's comments to the paper Friday night certainly don't appear that the basketball series is going on a permanent hiatus:

"Our position has been very constant," he said. "This series is important for the state of Tennessee and it's important to college basketball. As I said to Tom, 'Why would we not continue to meet.' He's been great and we're going to continue those conversations.

"(Bowen) wants to see what's going on with the Big East, which I understand, but he also wants this series to continue."

The hot-shooting Tigers disposed of the Vols in Thompson-Boling Arena Friday night and took a 5-4 lead in the teams' last nine meetings. Hart also noted in the article that if Memphis discontinues the series, the Vols will play basketball games in the city of Memphis regardless.