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Tennessee favored over Oregon State in NCAA Tournament

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NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Florida vs Tennessee Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A rocky conference season for Tennessee ended with two wins over Florida and a narrow loss to Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinals. After a week off, Tennessee was able to stop the bleeding a bit a pick up two resume wins to move back onto the five-seed line. They nearly did more than that on Saturday, but were unable to hold on against the Crimson Tide.

Their reward? The Pac-12 Tournament champions — the Oregon State Beavers.

Oregon State ran through UCLA, Oregon and Colorado on their way to cutting down the nets on Saturday, stealing a bubble spot with an automatic bid. The Beavers are 17-12 on the year. They’ll face Tennessee on Friday, who enters the NCAA Tournament with an 18-8 overall mark.

Tennessee has been installed as a 7.5 point favorite over Oregon State, per Fanduel Sportsbook. The total has been set at 131.5.

The big question surrounding the Volunteers is the status of John Fulkerson, who was unable to play against Alabama. Fulkerson has a facial fracture, and his availability this week is unknown. Tennessee played well without him for the most part, but likely need his services in order to make a deep run in the big dance. Fulkerson has struggled throughout the year, but was just seeming to turn things back on after getting a week off to rest and heal.

Tip-off is set for Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET with television coverage set to be carried by TNT. The game will be played in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.