Vols want 'something we'll never forget'

DAYTON, Ohio — The Tennessee men’s basketball team found a new identity, but its legacy has yet to be determined.

To this point, the Vols’ (21-12) season has been filled with false starts, ups and downs and more near-misses than shining moments.

When UT’s starting five sat down on a lighted stage at the University of Dayton Arena on Thursday, the first question summed things up nicely:

“It was kind of an up-and-down ragged season for Tennessee,’’ the national newspaper writer said. “Do you see the tournament as a chance to get on the right path ...?’’

Friday’s game (TV: WVLT, 12:25 p.m.) against eighth-seeded Oklahoma State (22-11) in the first round of the NCAA East Regional is the only path remaining.

There is no regular-season championship, unprecedented win total, ranking or conference tournament title for the these Vols to hang their hats on.

“The winner of our game gets one of the top teams in the country, (and) that’s when you try to get in that one shining moment stuff,’’ said UT coach Bruce Pearl, whose team is a No. 9 seed. “I promised my guys if we’re able to advance through this weekend, it will be something we’ll never forget.’’

The victor of today’s game between the Vols and the Cowboys will likely play Pittsburgh, the East’s No. 1 seed and the No. 1-rated RPI team in the nation. Pittsburgh plays East Tennessee State in other first-round action in Dayton today.

With Midwest Regional No. 1 seed Louisville and nearby Ohio State also playing at this site this weekend, Tennessee has walked the hallways in relative anonymity.

“We don’t look at it like that, coming in under the radar or without the target,’’ UT junior Tyler Smith said. “We know who the target is, and it’s Pittsburgh coming out of the Big East.

“We’re not picked to make it out of the first round.’’

Still, Pearl said, the Vols hardly bring a nothing-to-lose approach into today’s action.

“Our expectation is to try to advance,’’ Pearl said. “We don’t feel any less pressure because we’re the nine (seed).

If we don’t win it, we’ll be really disappointed.’’

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Comments » 223

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

Nope I'm not going to do it.

smashmouth98 writes:

Let's get after those Cowboys

Go VOLS!!!!

blitzshoot writes:

Which team is going to show up? Hopefully the team with passion and the desire to win. Hustle!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Pearl's right. They'll never forget it if they win throught this weekend. They will never forget it if they lose this weekend either. I prefer remembering wins.

Go Vols.

HallowedHill writes:

It starts with believing you can win it all...GL, God Speed and GO VOLS!!!

Seriouslyorange writes:

Go Vols no matter what "standpoing" you start from! LOL

mocsandvolsfan writes:

What's your viewpoing supersmo18?

HtownVol writes:

Anyone know where to watch the game on the net? CBS SPORTS.COM??? Tyler can take over with his size down low. If he can do that and we play to our capability we will win big! GO VOLS!!

bluetick writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Anyone know where to watch the game on the net? CBS SPORTS.COM??? Tyler can take over with his size down low. If he can do that and we play to our capability we will win big! GO VOLS!!

I think utsports.com will carry it unless I am wrong.

This team can beat any team they want to when they play all together. I'm thinking they show up for this game and the Pitt game and give them both an azzzzz whoopin'!

dvhill100 writes:

Which team will show up? The team that drilled Alabama or the one that choked against Mississippi State.

HtownVol writes:

in response to bluetick:

I think utsports.com will carry it unless I am wrong.

This team can beat any team they want to when they play all together. I'm thinking they show up for this game and the Pitt game and give them both an azzzzz whoopin'!

That would make me a very happy Vol fan!!!

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

I am taking my son to the game. He is a student at Ohio State. We have tickets for the first two games and will be looking to get tickets for the night games up there. Should be a great time. We need to play with the heart that we played with against USC to win the east. Go Vols!!!

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to HtownVol:

That would make me a very happy Vol fan!!!

sportsline.com (cbssports.com now)has all the games.

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to BrayforHeisman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'd prefer Vols and Bucs, but I reckon as long as its the Vols that's all that matters!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I HOPE NOT!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Go Bucs! Go Vols!

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Go Bucs! Go Vols!

Man the mocs hung tough early on today, I was pulling for them too

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to UTandETSUfan:

Man the mocs hung tough early on today, I was pulling for them too

i'd love to see the bucs and the vols play sunday.

CoverOrange writes:

I got a ticket in the rafters for tomorrow. Please, guys, don't disappoint.

bluetick writes:

Bingham? They want this game early on anyways.

bmaples writes:

Better not overlook OKST -- I just read the other story about them on here, and they've won 8 of their last 10 because they learned to play defense. We'll have to play a solid game on both ends to win this one.

I continue to believe we'll win at least two. Here's hoping I'm wrong, and we win at least four!! :--)

Bruce in Louisville

ETSU_Vol writes:

go vols & ETSU!!!

elizabethtonvol72 writes:

Go Vols, and go Bucs!! If ETSU were to pull an upset..., man what a bracket buster that would be. Not to mention a huge party here in Johnson City! I pray we are partying here, and in K-town as well!!

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I've missed 1 so far, got WKU too, but the VCU (my pick) over UCLA has got me worried...

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

a 'standpoing' is the action a certain part of the male anatomy does wehn, say, the appropriate viusal stimuli are present.

no further detail will be provide.d

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Anyone know where to watch the game on the net? CBS SPORTS.COM??? Tyler can take over with his size down low. If he can do that and we play to our capability we will win big! GO VOLS!!

ncaa.com

trl_x writes:

It appears that we have a significant disadvantage with quickness at guard and it will be critical for the inside guys to play good help defense and stop dribble penetration.

In very general terms if we pound the ball into the paint and stay committed to that throughout the game we win. If we settle for 3’s we lose.

With that said, I think we'll have the “backs against the wall” mentality and beat Ok State in a dogfight.

Go Vols!

Slystone writes:

A good to great run in this tourney would make up for a disappointing regular season. Personally I don't think they can string enough wins to get pass Pitt, but somebody is going to get upset and somebody is going to be the media darlings so here's too the Vols taken care of OK State and Pitt and getting on a streak.

steelersman42 writes:

GO VOLS!!! We're behind ya! I say beat Oklahoma State and take out WHOEVER you may play in the second round. you CAN do it! GO VOLS!!!

OldSmokey writes:

Forget the 3 pointers guys. Just get in the paint and score. No one can stop us if we do that.

OldSmokey writes:

And as far as what song should the Vols play!?!?! I thought there was only 1. Its obvious what we are known for!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WibLHu...

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

Hey, the vols lost twice to Gonzaga, a good team. We beat Florida twice and they won it all. And we lost to Memphis by 2? And look how good they are! And Temple, they are pretty darn good. That's 4 loses. Auburn and LSU and Alabama we had those games won. That's 7 loses. How many has North Carolina lost?

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

This is where we are supposed to be? So why all of the questions? We almost won the SEC tournament, and won the east and almost won it outright too? I mean, what's the problem? Were we supposed to be a number 1 Seed? We just ought to go out there and win 4 out of 5 , just to shut the media up!! Go Vols, do it!

OldSmokey writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

Hey, the vols lost twice to Gonzaga, a good team. We beat Florida twice and they won it all. And we lost to Memphis by 2? And look how good they are! And Temple, they are pretty darn good. That's 4 loses. Auburn and LSU and Alabama we had those games won. That's 7 loses. How many has North Carolina lost?

Good point. Thats why I say if we lay off the 3's and dont rush the shot we can win this. Even with out a point guard. Which everyone knows we don't have 1. Well atleast nothing like we had with Lofton.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

It is what it is.

Get ready to hang on and lets see what happens.

21 wins with a killer schedule and a NCAA berth deserves kudoes.

Some near-misses are hard to forget, but, get 'em Vols.

BigMix writes:

169 days till FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!!!!!

VolJunkie writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

a 'standpoing' is the action a certain part of the male anatomy does wehn, say, the appropriate viusal stimuli are present.

no further detail will be provide.d

Well, the others in my local Dunkin' Donuts are now staring at me as I wipe tears from my eyes ... too funny, thanks for getting my day off to a great start.

Go Vols!

VolJunkie writes:

It will be a tough game but I believe we get past OSU. Would love to see us play ETSU but I don't think Pitt is the team that will make history. Not trying to look too far ahead but I like how we match-up with Pitt ... and it's not like we haven't beaten a #1 team before! Still, one game at a time.

Go Vols!

HtownVol writes:

I see the game is not on UTSPORTS.COM... Can we watch it on CBS.COM for sure? I didnt call in sick for nothing.

HtownVol writes:

in response to brownsvillevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank you.  I just want to make sure I am missing work for a good reason

thebadsamaritan writes:

While I can't quite bring myself to say "Go Vols!" (it's weird to even type it) - this University of Memphis alum/booster/season-ticket holder is pulling for you against Oklahoma State.

Good Luck!

givehim6 writes:

in response to Down_The_Field:

i'd love to see the bucs and the vols play sunday.

I was just thinking the same thing. Living in Kingsport that wound be a interesting game, but i think my orange blood would win out.

Bigger_Al writes:

Win or lose, this is a LOT more fun than it used to be!

Bruuuuuccceeee!

murrayvol writes:

in response to thebadsamaritan:

While I can't quite bring myself to say "Go Vols!" (it's weird to even type it) - this University of Memphis alum/booster/season-ticket holder is pulling for you against Oklahoma State.

Good Luck!

Thanks with a twist.

It wouldn't upset me to see Memphis win the NC were it not for all your brethren camping out on this board ad nauseam.....until Hell freezes over.

BTW I hope you guys are thanking the basketball gods that Sallie showed up yesterday. Embarrassment wouldn't begin to describe a loss to Cal State Northslope.

Volunatic writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope the Vols aren't overlooking OK St. Technically UT is the underdog today, so maybe the Vols will be fired up more than the fans are about the first round.

Volunatic writes:

in response to thebadsamaritan:

While I can't quite bring myself to say "Go Vols!" (it's weird to even type it) - this University of Memphis alum/booster/season-ticket holder is pulling for you against Oklahoma State.

Good Luck!

Hey now-- that comment almost makes me dislike Memphis less.
(I'm sure another Memphis fan will comment soon and restore my hatred to its previous level, though.)

asleep#212036 writes:

Although we are technically the underdog by seeding, remember seeding isn't really about how good your team is, it's more how CONSISTENTLY good it is. A seed is nothing more than the committee's expectation of your longevity in the tournament. Look at Maryland. Good enough to blast Cal, but inconsistent enough during the season to rate only a 10 seed. Same with us. On a given night, good enough to play with anybody, even Pitt. But so inconsistent that a 9 seed is the best the committee could do. Remember, we didn't even win 3 SEC games in a row all season, as down as the conference was this year. The problem for the rest of the field (and apparently a dilemma for the NCAA tournament committee as well) is that when we're good, we're really good. And we have put together back to back impressive games on multiple occasions, most recently in the SEC tournament. Let's hope the MSU loss put us back on track for a couple of good games. Go Vols!!!

Volunatic writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Although we are technically the underdog by seeding, remember seeding isn't really about how good your team is, it's more how CONSISTENTLY good it is. A seed is nothing more than the committee's expectation of your longevity in the tournament. Look at Maryland. Good enough to blast Cal, but inconsistent enough during the season to rate only a 10 seed. Same with us. On a given night, good enough to play with anybody, even Pitt. But so inconsistent that a 9 seed is the best the committee could do. Remember, we didn't even win 3 SEC games in a row all season, as down as the conference was this year. The problem for the rest of the field (and apparently a dilemma for the NCAA tournament committee as well) is that when we're good, we're really good. And we have put together back to back impressive games on multiple occasions, most recently in the SEC tournament. Let's hope the MSU loss put us back on track for a couple of good games. Go Vols!!!

The Vols beat MS St, Florida, and South Carolina all in a row. Other than that-- good post. I agree that the Vols have been wildly inconsistent, and didn't deserve to be better than a 6-seed, anyway. I thought getting the 9-seed is a little unfair, but you play with what you get.
If the Vols play their best today, UT will win. If the Vols play their best against Pitt, UT will win.
GO VOLS!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to thebadsamaritan:

While I can't quite bring myself to say "Go Vols!" (it's weird to even type it) - this University of Memphis alum/booster/season-ticket holder is pulling for you against Oklahoma State.

Good Luck!

What's the angle BS(your initials)?

OK go memphis

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