After a fun few days following the upset of Kentucky, Tennessee fell flat on Saturday, ending any talk of a potential at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. The Volunteers now need to win the SEC Tournament this weekend in Nashville to go to the big dance, but to do so they’ll have to go through No. 1 seed Kentucky again if they can get past Alabama on Thursday.
The realistic expectation for Tennessee is a bid in the NIT. According to most analysts, Tennessee is solidly in that field. And according to Rick Barnes, Tennessee would gladly accept that bid.
“Yeah, no doubt,” Barnes said about accepting a bid to the NIT. “I think this team needs to play as much as we possibly can.”
Let’s take a look at the possibilities.
Mid-Major Madness: No. 4 Seed
Tennessee lands as a No. 4 seed here, per SBNation. N.C. State is the top seed in the Volunteers’ region in this projection. Purdue, Arkansas and UCLA joined the Wolfpack as No. 1 seeds.
Projected Opponent: UConn
The Barking Crow: No. 4 Seed
Tennessee is projected as a No. 4 seed here, landing in Rhode Island’s region. N.C. State and Texas are the No. 2 and 3 seeds in this projection. Rhode Island, Texas Tech, Purdue and Saint Louis land as the top seeds.
Projected Opponent: Syracuse
DRatings.com: No. 4 Seed
Tennessee lands yet again as a No. 4 seed in this projection. Texas, Cincinnati, Purdue and Stanford are projected as the top seeds.
Projected Opponent: Boise State
This field will shift and change quite a bit this week through all of the conference tournaments. The final bracket will be released live on ESPNU at 8:30 p.m. ET on Selection Sunday, following the NCAA Tournament selection show.