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Joe Lunardi moves Tennessee up to projected No. 1 seed

A lot of season left, but the Vols are now on the one-seed line.

LSU v Tennessee Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

One week ago, Tennessee fans were worried about losing to South Carolina. Now? The Volunteers are a projected No. 1 seed, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. The premier bracketologist revealed his latest projections today following Wednesday’s action, moving Tennessee off of the two-seed line and onto the top line.

Tennessee joins Purdue, UConn and Houston as projected No. 1 seeds. Kansas and North Carolina moved down to projected No. 2 seeds following upset losses earlier this week to Kansas State and Clemson.

The Vols flushed that ugly loss against South Carolina immediately, rebounding to score 103 points in Rupp Arena on Saturday night. After coming up with a huge road win over Kentucky, Tennessee kept the offensive momentum rolling on Wednesday night as they rolled past LSU.

We’ve been waiting for the pieces around Dalton Knecht to come together, and in the past couple of outings, Zakai Zeigler, Josiah-Jordan James and Jordan Gainey have delivered.

Tennessee’s NCAA Tournament resume now includes road wins at Wisconsin and Kentucky, along with home wins over Illinois and Alabama. Three of their five losses have come against top eight teams — Kansas, Purdue and North Carolina.

The Volunteers are now ranked fifth overall in the NCAA’s NET rankings with a 4-4 mark in Quad 1 matchups.

Tennessee has never secured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve been selected as a No. 2 seed three times. The Volunteers have also never appeared in a final four, and have made exactly one appearance in the Elite Eight (2010).

Looking ahead, Tennessee has a tough stretch to end the season. Earning that No. 1 seed will be tough, with a stretch of Auburn, at Alabama, at South Carolina and Kentucky set to end the regular season. The SEC Tournament in Nashville will tell the rest of the story.

Selection Sunday is set for March 17th.