A frantic comeback against Georgia and a blowout win over Florida have stabilized Tennessee, which suffered its first conference loss in Starkville last week. Dalton Knecht is absolutely on fire, while Zakai Zeigler is playing at a level we’ve never seen before out of him.
Those two, along with some help from big man Jonas Aidoo, have Tennessee winning basketball games despite some lacking offensive production from Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James. The Volunteers will hope to keep that formula rolling on Saturday as they play host to Alabama, which has won six straight games.
Tennessee, now 13-4 overall, has been settled on the projected two-seed line for several weeks now in various versions of NCAA Tournament projections. Those early losses in big games against Purdue, Kansas and North Carolina haven’t hurt too bad, and Tennessee has taken advantage of some chaos and upsets at the top of the seed list.
According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, Tennessee remains on that two-seed line this week. Lunardi placed the Vols in Purdue’s region with a first round matchup against No. 15 seed St. Peters. Tennessee is the highest seeded SEC team in the projection, quickly followed by Auburn and Kentucky — both No. 3 seeds. Alabama lands as a No. 4, for reference. Overall, eight SEC teams made the tournament in this particular projection.
Over at CBS Sports, Jerry Palm also has Tennessee as a No. 2 seed, also projected to land in Purdue’s region.
Tennessee currently sits sixth overall in the NCAA’s NET rankings. They’re 2-4 in Quad 1 matchups, but perfect elsewhere to this point. The Volunteers remain perfect at home this year, which is a mark that will be put to the test on Saturday against the fifth-ranked NET squad, Alabama.