The full bracket has been released for the Battle 4 Atlantis. As we saw yesterday from Jeff Goodman, Tennessee drew Purdue in the opening round. But now we can see the potential future opponents.
If the Tennessee Volunteers were to pull of the upset over Purdue, they’d likely get Villanova. The Wildcats should be able to handle Western Kentucky.
A loss for the Vols in the opening game would likely mean they get N.C. State, assuming the Arizona Wildcats can take care of business. Arizona probably has the easiest path to the championship game of anyone.
Either way you slice it, Tennessee is set to get two quality games for the resume, potentially even three depending on how it falls. This is a pretty stout field, bottom to top.
The potential problem for Tennessee is that this will just be their third official game on the schedule. New faces like James Daniel III, Chris Darrington, Yves Pons, Derrick Walker and Zach Kent are all expected to play big roles right off the bat. Rick Barnes isn’t going to have much time to tinker with the lineup before they get thrown into the fire.
An exhibition game (team TBD) will start things off on November 2nd. Tune up games against Presbyterian and High Point will be all that this new group has to get ready for Purdue.
Tennessee is set to be deeper and frankly more talented than the past few Rick Barnes teams, so I’m cautiously optimistic that Tennessee can at least be respectable once again on the hardwood.