Selection Sunday is THIS Sunday. The field will be set following the last round of conference tournaments, which are either underway now or set to begin today. Tennessee is looking to finish off a strong second half of the season as they try to win their first SEC Tournament since 1979.
The Volunteers have gone from a team in freefall during January, to a rock-solid No. 3 seed in the bracketology projections around the web.
Here’s what we have entering Wednesday night.
Tennessee Bracketology (Wednesday March 9th)
ESPN: No. 3 vs. Princeton (1/2: Baylor/Duke)
CBS: No. 3 vs. Vermont (1/2: Arizona/Purdue)
USA Today: No. 3 vs. Wagner (1/2: Gonzaga/Wisconsin)
SBNation: No. 3 vs. Princeton (1/2: Baylor/Wisconsin)
Bracket Matrix: No. 3 seed (10th overall)
Pretty standard stuff here entering the big tournaments. Tennessee has been hot down the stretch, racking up big time wins at home to bolster a strong resume that has no bad losses. As long as they don’t get upset on Friday night, a three-seed seems like their ultimate landing spot.
Now is the time we start really looking hard at potential landing spots and opponents, and one fascinating scenario has become a trend this week.
Both CBS and USA Today project Memphis as the No. 11 seed in Tennessee’s region. That would, of course, mean a potential Tennessee-Memphis matchup in the round of 32 should both teams advance. This is a situation to monitor, with Memphis on much firmer ground after their upset of Houston last weekend. The Tigers have appeared as high as a No. 9 seed, which obviously would take them out of the second round mix for Tennessee.
Another note — the Volunteers landed in the South Region (San Antonio) in three out of four projections. Only USA Today had them elsewhere, placing them in the West Region with Gonzaga.
Tennessee is set to take on the winner of South Carolina (7) vs. Mississippi State (10) on Friday night in Tampa. Assuming they take care of business, a likely matchup with Kentucky would come on Saturday. Obviously, a game like that would carry plenty of weight as the committee locks in their selections on Sunday.
We’ll have updates as the drama unfolds this weekend.