Just as soon as Tennessee climbed up to a consensus No. 1 seed, the Volunteers forgot how to play offense. A road trip to Gainesville ended up being Tennessee’s second loss in SEC play, and they were pretty fortunate to survive against Auburn on Saturday afternoon.
That elite defense is still alive and well. They’ll bring that to the floor just about any night. But the offense? That’s anyone’s guess. It’s an all-too-familiar feeling as we head into March, and it doesn’t exactly feel like there’s a fix anyone close on the horizon.
Tennessee pretty much is what they are at this point — a defense first team capable of beating anyone in the country, but also a limited offensive team that will undoubted lose a few they shouldn’t. We saw that against Florida on Wednesday.
That loss, according to most analysts, brought Tennessee down to the No. 2 seed line.
Latest Bracketology Projections
ESPN: No. 2 seed (7th overall)
CBS Sports: No. 2 seed (7th overall)
Bally Sports: No. 2 seed (5th overall)
Bart Torvick: No. 1 seed (3rd overall)
Tennessee has had a fairly easy conference slate to this point, but business is about to pick up. At Vanderbilt and home against Missouri await this week, before Alabama comes to town next week. A trip to Rupp to play Kentucky will follow, then another road game at Texas A&M will be after that.
The Volunteers obviously still have a decent shot at that No. 1 seed, but they’re going to have to earn it through February. The Missouri-Alabama-Kentucky-Texas A&M stretch is going to tell us quite a bit.
Tennessee remains as KenPom’s second most efficient team, but their offensive ranking tumbled all the way down to 60 after a putrid week. The defense remains at No. 1. Tennessee is also No. 2 in the NCAA’s NET rankings.
Selection Sunday is set for March 12th, which is now just five weeks away.