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LINKS: Lady Vols Nab 5 Seed in NCAA Tournament

RPI RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME, NBA Vols updates, the coming QB competition, and more: it’s your Tuesday LINKS!

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Morning gang. Well! Evidently the Lady Vols’ blueblood pedigree still carries some weight, somewhere (that, or the the Committee just really loves RPI). Despite a wildly inconsistent 19-11 season, a disappointing SEC Tourney performance, and being projected as a 7 seed by ESPN, the unranked Lady Vols will begin their ‘16-‘17 Tournament 4EST Saturday as a five seed against Dayton (22-9). Potential future opponents in the Oklahoma City bracket (HE SAID, WHILE VERY OSTENTATIOUSLY KNOCKING ON WOOD) include the winner of (4)Louisville/(13)Chattanooga; (1)Baylor would be the likely opponent should the Lady Vols reach the 3rd Round. You can see the full bracket here. Rather unsurprisingly, Coach Warlick is pretty a-ok with the seeding:

Sticking with the bouncyhoops for a second- as expected, the late-season collapse of Rick Barnes’ Vols team was a bit too drastic, and they’ve missed out on the NIT, marking the third consecutive year without a postseason for the men’s program.

But hey- if you’re desperate for a basketVol fix, the NBA Playoffs are only a month away, and VFL Tobias Harris is playing some great ball with the Pistons, who are currently in line for a 7 seed in the East, while Josh Richardson is steadily working himself back into the rotation following his foot injury with the surging Miami Heat. Less happily, despite some promising moments, ‘15-‘16 NBA Champion Jordan McRae was released by the Cavs earlier this month to clear roster room for their (doomed) acquisition of Andrew Bogut. ESPN has a thoughtful breakdown of the situation here- hopefully he’ll find another home in the league soon. Meanwhile Jarnell Stokes, who was waived by the Nuggets in November, is apparently drawing interest from Valencia.

Buckle in, folks: according to Mike Griffith, with spring football just around the corner, Butch Jones “doesn’t have a timeline” for picking a starting quarterback, and is “willing to enter next season playing two quarterbacks,” should nobody pull away in spring and fall practice. JR Quinten Dormady and RS FR Jarrett Guarantano are the presumed favorites for the starting job.

According to a 247 “exclusive,” new AD John Currie is like SUPER EXCITED YOU GUYS about continuing the existing $106m renovation plan for Neyland stadium, which will include “Concourse One expansion,” “kitchen and commissary additions,” and “upper bowl handrail augmentation, electrical transformer replacement, and storm sewer line repair.” What a time to be alive!

Happy Tuesday!