In a very different looking NCAA Tournament bracket projection, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports placed the Tennessee Volunteers as a three seed. Palm prefaced his projections knowing that they would look different from the rest, stating that he was projecting the field if the season ended today.
Villanova, Michigan State, Arizona State and Miami were the one seeds, while Duke, TCU, Texas A&M and Florida State were the two seeds. North Carolina — Tennessee’s opponent this Sunday — was also projected as a three seed.
It’s not totally insane to think about this group as a top 12 team in the country. I don’t know that they’re quite there yet. Rick Barnes would definitely tell you that they aren’t there yet. Still, it’s cool to see the national media taking notice of the Vols. They’ve got a big time opportunity to open even more eyes this weekend.
In this projection, Tennessee holds wins over Purdue (5), N.C. State (12), Lipscomb (13) and Mercer (15). They’ll have plenty of opportunities to better their resume as SEC play gets rolling. The league looks pretty competitive in the top half.
I’m sure they will face some adversity in conference play, but you can’t ask for much better of a start than what we’ve gotten from these Vols.