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Bracketology: Tennessee in the No. 1 seed conversation

Could it happen?

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

We’re slowly working our way towards another season of March Madness, and once again, Tennessee sits in a fantastic spot. The Volunteers are in the middle of one of Rick Barnes’ best seasons in Knoxville, now sitting at 16-3 overall.

Can they do enough to secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? We’ll see, but the opportunity is at least there for the taking. You’ll be seeing a lot more of these posts as we get closer to Selection Sunday. For now though, here’s where things stand.

Monday, January 23rd Bracketology

ESPN: No. 2 seed (East Region with Kansas)

NCAA (Andy Katz): No. 1 seed (West Region)

CBS Sports: No. 3 seed (South Region with Purdue/Iowa State)

All over the place, right?

Tennessee’s slip-up against Kentucky obviously hurt, as the Volunteers dropped to No. 9 in the AP poll. However, a couple of key losses in front of them will likely jump them up a few notches this week. Houston went down, Kansas lost twice, while UCLA fell to Arizona. We’re going to have plenty of movement in the polls this week.

Polls aside, the Volunteers remain at No. 2 in the NCAA NET rankings. They also remain as KenPom’s No. 2 ranked team.

Tennessee has some big tests ahead, starting this weekend. The Vols will host No. 7 Texas, then will host No. 16 Auburn the following week. That February 15th matchup with No. 4 Alabama looms large, and might even determine the SEC regular season championship.

Selection Sunday is set for March 12th, following all of the conference tournaments, as usual. The NCAA Tournament will tip-off the following week.