The Tennessee Volunteers are off to a hot start this college basketball season, knocking off Michigan State (which didn’t count officially) and Wisconsin on the road. The Volunteers handled the Badgers on Friday night, powered by yet another big night from transfer addition Dalton Knecht.
Tennessee has caught the eye of several national analysts so far, earning several final four projections to this point. The Athletic has them No. 1 in their rankings, and now so does Andy Katz over at NCAA.com.
The AP Poll is going to need some time to catch up, but the Volunteers are on the move there as well. Tennessee is up to No. 7, jumping past Duke and Michigan State this week. Kansas remains planted at the top, along with Purdue.
These top teams are going to get a chance to fight it out in Honolulu next week at the relocated Maui Invitational. (7) Tennessee will join (1) Kansas, (2) Purdue, (4) Marquette, Chaminade, (11) Gonzaga, UCLA and Syracuse for what’s sure to be a wildly entertaining tournament. We’ll learn quite a bit there.
Texas A&M, Kentucky, Arkansas and Alabama are the other teams appearing in the poll from the SEC.
North Carolina checks in at No. 20, and will host Tennessee at the end of this month. No. 23 Illinois will make the trip to Knoxville in December.