After a rough start to conference play, Tennessee has taken advantage of a lighter mid-section of the schedule. The Volunteers have rallied to rip off six straight wins in conference, climbing back into the regular season SEC race.
They’ve also gone from a team that was sliding down the NCAA Tournament projections list, to a team that’s now climbing. Tennessee picked up one of their best wins of the season on Wednesday night at Mississippi State, a team that remains on the bubble with just a few weeks left to play.
The Volunteers are now 4-6 in Quad 1 games, and still have yet to take a bad loss on the year. That progress has been reflected in the latest bracketology from various outlets.
ESPN: No. 5 Seed vs. No. 12 North Texas
CBS: No. 4 Seed vs. No. 13 Wagner
USA Today: No. 5 Seed vs. No. 12 West Virginia/Creighton
SBNation: No. 5 Seed vs. No. 12 Iona
Bracket Matrix: No. 4 Seed
The Vols are still trying to find their way without Olivier Nkamhoua. So far so good, but we’ve only seen one game to this point. It will be interesting to see if they experience any growing pains there, leaning on a couple of freshmen in Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Jonas Aidoo.
Tennessee will host Vanderbilt on Saturday evening before the schedule ramps up again. The Volunteers will have a big opportunity to move even further up the seed list, set to host Kentucky and travel to Arkansas next week. After that, home games against Auburn and Arkansas remain.
Tennessee is now tied for third place in the SEC standings — obviously those upcoming matchups loom large in that battle.
Selection Sunday is set for March 13th, now just over a month away.