It’s been a bumpy ride to close the season for Tennessee basketball. After climbing all the way up to No. 2 in the polls, the Volunteers were hit with several different injuries down the stretch. The most notable coming last week to Zakai Zeigler, who tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
Tennessee is now left without their dynamic point guard as March Madness begins. The Vols dropped their final game of the regular season at Auburn, meaning they’ll have to play on Thursday in the SEC Tournament. They’ll take on the Ole Miss/South Carolina winner there, checking in as the No. 5 seed.
Still, through all the struggles, Tennessee could end up as a No. 3 seed in next week’s NCAA Tournament. Thanks to a few strong wins — Kansas, Texas and Alabama — the Volunteers are still in pretty good shape here.
Latest Bracketology for Tennessee Basketball
CBS: No. 4 seed (With Houston, Texas, Gonzaga)
SBNation: No. 4 seed (With Purdue, Texas, UConn)
USA Today: No. 3 seed (With Kansas, Texas, UConn)
Should Tennessee win on Thursday, they’ll face 4-seed Missouri on Friday. That’s another potential strong win to add to the resume, one that could help them solidify a No. 3 seed. A potential Alabama matchup looms on Saturday, should both sides take care of business.
Tennessee, despite a 22-9 record, is still ranked third overall in the NCAA NET rankings. KenPom still has the Vols fifth, still anchored by the nation’s best defense.
Selection Sunday is now just six days away. The full field will be revealed on Sunday following the conclusion of the conference tournaments.