The Lady Vols open play in the NCAA Tournament today around 4:00 PM ET against Dayton in Louisville. Tennessee is a five seed, Dayton a 12. The winner will face the victor between four seed and host Louisville and 13 seed Chattanooga. Coverage is available on ESPN2 and online through Watch ESPN with audio through Sports Radio WNML.
I haven’t watched the Lady Vols all year, what do I need to know?
Holly Warlick’s squad is 19-11 (10-6), and are an adventure just about every night. The Lady Vols beat one seeds Notre Dame and South Carolina, two seeds Stanford and Mississippi State, and four seed Kentucky. And the Lady Vols lost to Penn State, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Georgia, and Alabama (twice), none of which made the NCAA Tournament. Four of those bad losses were by 8+ points. But they beat Stanford by eight and won at Mississippi State in the final game of the regular season by 18.
Tennessee’s scoring is dominated by Diamond DeShields (17.2), Mercedes Russell (16.3), and Jaime Nared (15.5). They shoot 34.6% from three and struggle to maintain a positive assist-turnover ratio. Of note regardless of today’s outcome, Jordan Reynolds (7.3 points, team-leading 4.4 assists) and Schaquilla Nunn (4.6 points) are the only seniors on the roster, and Holly is bringing in a top-ranked recruiting class.
Dayton started the year 3-6 but scored a big win over Texas A&M to spark a 14-1 run. They lost twice in mid-February but rallied to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament and earn a 12 seed at 22-9.
If you’re following along today feel free to join us in the comments below. Here’s hoping today’s adventure is the kind that leads to another one on Monday.