Tennessee went into Rupp Arena and knocked off Kentucky on Tuesday night, igniting their season with just one regular season game left to play. 27 points from John Fulkerson and Josiah-Jordan James’ best game of his young career have Tennessee in position to make a late run at the NCAA Tournament.
Let’s check around the web to see where things stand.
SBNation: Next four out
In Tuesday’s biggest shock, Tennessee vaulted back into the picture by overcoming a 17-point deficit at Rupp Arena to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats by an 81-73 count. The Volunteers are now 17-13 overall following consecutive wins over the Florida Gators and a Wildcat squad that was in line to jump to a No. 2 seed after Maryland’s loss.
According to Chris Dobbertean of SBNation, Tennessee is still on the outside looking in. But they’re oh-so-close. They are currently the 5th team out of the tournament, trailing Wichita State, Purdue, NC State and Richmond. Rhode Island, South Carolina and Mississippi State are in line behind the Volunteers.
CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm: Not on the bubble
“Beat Auburn at home at the end of the regular season,” Palm said, “let’s see what the tournament draw looks like and then ask me again. I don’t think of Tennessee as a bubble team at the moment.” (Via the Tony Basilio show)
While this isn’t the most rosy outlook, Palm does offer hope. Tennessee has another big chance on Saturday at home to beat Auburn, a game that they let slip away just several days ago on the road. They can right that wrong, then have a chance to make more ground up during the NCAA tournament.
USA Today: First four out
Tennessee joined Cincinnati, Richmond and Purdue on the outside looking in during this projection. Rutgers, Stanford, UCLA and NC State were the last four teams to make the field.
Team Rankings: No. 12 seed, 50 percent chance to make the field.
Mid-Major Madness: NIT No. 4 Seed
Yes, there’s NIT bracketology. For what it’s worth, this was published before Tennessee’s upset of Kentucky. But this should give you an idea of Tennessee’s standing with the NIT. If they aren’t able to make the big dance, they should be a fairly high seed here considering their last two wins.