Remember that time the media picked Tennessee to finish 13th in the SEC? I do. Fun times. Now they have the highest chance to make the NCAA tournament of any team in the league, according to ESPN’s basketball power index.
Highest Chance to Make NCAA Tournament:— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 22, 2018
via ESPN BPI
Tennessee - 99.9%
Auburn - 99.8%
Florida - 99.4%
Kentucky - 86%
Texas A&M - 81%
Arkansas - 61%
Alabama - 52%https://t.co/7hUb4PhldY
Not that making the tournament is an issue at this point, it’s just cool to see Tennessee have the highest percentage of anyone in the SEC. Especially after being totally overlooked by the media in the preseason.
The Vols have played the nation’s toughest schedule, according to KenPom. The national media is taking notice, as are several metrics systems.
Tennessee has been bouncing around as a 4-5 seed in most of the main bracket projections. They’re a five seed this week, according to Joe Lunardi of ESPN.
More good news — it seems like the worst is behind Tennessee on the schedule. Every night is probably going to be a fight in the SEC this year, but Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas A&M are behind them.
Tennessee draws Vanderbilt, LSU and Ole Miss over the next two weeks — with a tricky road game at Iowa State wedged in between. Those are all games that the Vols should be able to handle over the next 14 days. I don’t want to call it a “breather,” but these teams aren’t as talented as the ones Tennessee has faced in the first three weeks of conference play.
The Volunteers need to take advantage of that. Maybe they can jumpstart Jordan Bowden and Jordan Bone in the process as we head towards tournament season.