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Bracketology: Where Tennessee stands after a shaky start to SEC play

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Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Struggling with inconsistent offense as of late, the Tennessee Volunteers are falling in the NCAA Tournament projections. What was now a strong No. 3 or No. 4 seed a few weeks back is now fading as Rick Barnes aims to get the Vols back on track.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Tennessee as a No. 5 seed.

CBS’s Jerry Palm has Tennessee as a No. 7 seed.

Tennessee is now 12-5 on the year, but they really don’t have any bad losses to this point. Obviously a near 30 point blowout last weekend at the hands of Kentucky doesn’t help the optics, but each of the Vols’ losses this year have come against ranked teams.

The Volunteers hold wins over North Carolina, at Colorado and Arizona — not bad, but they certainly could use another ranked win soon to boost their standing. They’ll have another shot to do that against LSU in Knoxville this weekend.

Tennessee ranks 12th in the NET rankings, despite a 2-5 record against quad one teams. They’ve fallen to 15th in KenPom, still anchored by a defense that ranks sixth nationally.

Selection Sunday is now eight weeks away.

The Volunteers will have several opportunities down the stretch to pick up key wins. After LSU this weekend, they’ll host Florida and then travel to face Texas in Austin. A surprisingly good Texas A&M team will follow. Down the stretch, Tennessee will see No. 2 ranked Auburn, face Arkansas twice and host Kentucky.

Poll

What seed will Tennessee earn in the NCAA Tournament?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    2-4
    (28 votes)
  • 63%
    5-8
    (113 votes)
  • 15%
    9-12
    (27 votes)
  • 5%
    NIT Bound
    (10 votes)
178 votes total Vote Now