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Lady Vols @ Alabama, 8:30 PM Eastern

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You lose your top 25 ranking, you get oddball start times.

Unfortunately, there are bigger fish to fry than the lack of a top 25 ranking.
Unfortunately, there are bigger fish to fry than the lack of a top 25 ranking.
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

TV/Stream: Just kidding.  Online only.  TV is for ranked teams.

Radio: Does Mickey know how to introduce them without a rankings number?

Abacus: The only thing uglier than the layout is the numbers.

(Hey, if you can't enjoy gallows humor, you can't enjoy humor.)

So last we left the Lady Vols, they were busy losing on the road to a (then) 8-win LSU Lady Tigers team with even worse luck than Tennessee.  Mix in two offensively derptastic teams, add a pinch of can't-hit-free-throws, and garnish with one wrong-end-of-the-court gratuitous foul with 4 seconds left, and you have a Tennessee team that is now out of the top 25 for the first time since a suitable analogy existed to end a "first time since" cliche.

Thanks to the most mediocre SEC conference standings in a long, long time, there is still a chance at a top 4 standings by the end of the season, which would grace Tennessee with a bye in the SEC tournament and the chance to avoid near-certain-tournament-winner South Carolina for just a little bit.  In the same breath, a #8/9 seed is also well in play, which would have Tennessee facing their earliest conference tournament exit since possibly ever.

But enough about a team with roughly as many McDonald's All-American player as the rest of the conference combined.

Tennessee goes on the road to face an Alabama team that is 3-11 in SEC play (tied with LSU).  Like LSU, it's a team that Tennessee really should beat.  Unlike LSU, it's a team that is 3-11 due to a lack of talent across the board rather than a slew of injuries to rather important players.  If Tennessee loses tonight, it's probably time to openly ask whether the gals have openly quit on the season/coaches/AD/whatever.  Until then, for the first time in decades, it's just a Lady Vols game in SEC play against a team with less talent.

Prediction: 65-49 Tennessee. Why not?