November 18th, to be exact.
One hundred and nineteen days remain until Selection Sunday.
Weird things happen in November. In 2004, fourth-ranked North Carolina lost to Santa Clara. The Tar Heels went on to win the national title. In 2009, No. 25 Syracuse dropped a home exhibition to Division II Le Moyne College. The Orange were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament that March.
Another weird one? How about Tennessee making just 13 field goals — tied for its third-lowest total ever — in a thorough 62-45 beating by Oklahoma State on Friday.
It was as ugly as the numbers indicate.
While some Vol fans toss one leg over the bridge guardrail, coach Cuonzo Martin isn't quite ready to panic.
"It's early and that was just one of those days," he said by phone Saturday, hunkered down watching film in the team hotel on a sun-drenched day in San Juan.
It will be a new day Sunday when Tennessee faces Massachusetts in a Puerto Rico Tip-Off third-place game (TV: ESPNU, 4 p.m. ET).
Martin called November a time when "every team is fighting for their right to be successful."
At 2-1 on the young season and with one of its best players, Jeronne Maymon, on the shelf, UT is still grasping at the recipe for success.
It was well out of reach against Oklahoma State. Now comes talented
Minutemen point guard Chaz Williams, one of the most entertaining players in the country, is a bullet at 5-foot-8. He's a major candidate for Atlantic 10 player of the year.
Senior forward Terrell Vinson is a classic "glue guy," while high-scoring guard Jesse Morgan and versatile, athletic forward Raphiael Putney present all kinds of matchup problems.
Coach Derek Kellogg, who spent eight years on John Calipari's staff at Memphis 2001-2008, led the team to a 25-11 record and a trip to the NIT semifinals last year.
"They're really good," Martin said. "They run in transition, get shots up quickly — the shooters spot-up and their bigs run the floor."
UMass opened the season with buzzer-beating wins over Harvard and Providence before falling to No. 6 N.C. State 94-76 in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off semifinals Friday.
While it's indeed early, today's meeting with the Minutemen carries an air of importance.
For the long term, the Vols need to bolster a non-conference schedule that was robbed of an opportunity to include N.C. State. Friday's flat tire against OSU assured that. UMass will likely be a postseason team, be it in the NCAA tournament or NIT, and a win over the Minutemen on a neutral court could be important come March.
In the short term, the Vols don't want to return to the mainland with a 1-2 record in Puerto Rico stowed away. Where would that leave the team's psyche? With Maymon's return undetermined, the current group needs to foster some confidence.
Martin said he and his staff are looking at the "necessary adjustments" to get the UT offense on track without its big man.
Offensive continuity has been an issue. The Vols average just 9.7 assists per game, and Friday's five dimes against OSU were the program's fewest since a 77-55 loss to Southern Cal in 2009. Assists have come on just 44.6 percent of UT's made shots.
Add 12.7 turnovers per game to the offensive struggles and UT averages 1.03 points per possession — the 10th-lowest tally in the SEC.
Much of the problems stem from a still-developing rotation of players Against the Cowboys, Martin mixed and matched lineups regularly. Maybe too regularly.
But that is what November is for.
"It goes game to game," he said. "We make subtle adjustments as a staff to better suit our personnel and help those guys grow and get better in those roles. Now, all the sudden those guys are playing more minutes. You've got to identify your bench and rotations and the guys have to make basketball plays."
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn