The Tennessee Volunteers had a short stay in Hoover, running into a strong pitching performance on Tuesday afternoon. Texas A&M starter Troy Wansing had it all working against the Volunteers, allowing just one hit as he nearly single-handedly sent Tennessee back to Knoxville.
Now there’s nothing left to do but wait for Sunday and Monday. The top 16 national seeds will be revealed on Sunday, while the rest of the 64-team field will come out on Monday.
Tennessee’s early loss in the SEC Tournament more than likely killed any shot they had of hosting a regional. The Volunteers rank 19th in RPI as of now, which would leave them just short of hosting a weekend.
The Vols will likely be a No. 2 seed, the question that remains is where they will land. The popular destination that has emerged this week has been the Indiana State region. Both Baseball America and D1 Baseball have the Volunteers heading to Terre Haute, with a projected pairing of Indiana State, UC Irvine and Wright State.
Indiana State is the projected 16-seed nationally, meaning Tennessee would be the highest ranked No. 2 seed.
College Sports Madness has Tennessee paired with No. 8 seed Virginia in Charlottesville. Things could obviously change with a few more days worth of conference tournaments left to play.
Perhaps there’s a positive to having a week off, too. Conference tournaments can be a real grind, with games being played from Tuesday through Sunday. Tennessee won’t have to deal with that, and they now have a chance to rest and heal.
“Yeah, I think in prior history, some teams have benefitted from that,” Tony Vitello said after the loss to Texas A&M. “Gas some guys out, maybe it costs you in a regional, or you can get some guys fresh and get them sorted and it could benefit you. A lot of it is probably how guys’ mindsets are between now and then because you know their bodies are going to get rested.
“I think playing in this league or playing in any league, a little bit of time off your feet or maybe not as many pitches thrown can probably benefit somebody this time of year.”
Tennessee will find out their destination on Monday at 12 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will carry the selection show.