Vols celebrate 64-62 victory against Missouri on Senior Day

Vols secure No. 5 seed for SEC tournament

Tennessee guard Quinton Chievous (31) celebrates a 3-pointer as Missouri forward Tony Criswell (3) looks on at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Quinton Chievous (31) celebrates a 3-pointer as Missouri forward Tony Criswell (3) looks on at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson  and Missouri forward Alex Oriakhi  struggle for control of the ball at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson and Missouri forward Alex Oriakhi struggle for control of the ball at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL
Missouri guard Earnest Ross tries to get a shot over Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes and guard Armani Moore (4) at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday.

Photo by Adam Brimer

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL Missouri guard Earnest Ross tries to get a shot over Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes and guard Armani Moore (4) at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday.

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin reacts to a defensive break for the Vols as they play Missouri at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013. Tennessee won 64-62 over Missouri. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)$RETURN$$RETURN$

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin reacts to a defensive break for the Vols as they play Missouri at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Mar. 9, 2013. Tennessee won 64-62 over Missouri. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)$RETURN$$RETURN$

When the practice jerseys are on and the game uniforms are folded, coach Cuonzo Martin begins Tennessee’s work days with what he calls, “The Emphasis of the Day.” Encircled by his team, he offers a cerebral talking point that has nothing to do with Xs and Os.

A few weeks back, before the Vols mustered their ongoing late-season surge, the emphasis was “destiny or choice?” Ostensibly he asked, will you be taken for a ride or will you pave your own path?

When the uniforms were on for Saturday’s Senior Day regular-season finale against visiting Missouri, Martin reminded his Vols of that day. Under 10 minutes remained, an eight-point deficit left a sinking feeling and Martin gathered the team for a timeout.

“Guys, this is it, we’ve got to go now,” he said. “After this, there’s no turning back.”

The Vols are moving forward with steam.

A 16-4 run resulted from Martin’s message. A 64-62 victory over Missouri lets Tennessee choose its NCAA tournament destiny.

“You’ve got to do the job (to earn an at-large berth to the tournament) and I think the job is done,” Martin said.

Though unfinished business lies ahead this upcoming week. With the win, Tennessee (19-11, 11-7 SEC) landed as the fifth seed in the SEC tournament. Next Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Nashville, the Vols will face the winner of 12th-seeded South Carolina versus 13th-seeded Mississippi State, which meet in Wednesday’s first round.

Missouri (22-9, 11-7), which was led by Laurence Bowers’ 20 points, will be the sixth seed.

“At the end of the season, a lot of it’s about heart and the will to win,” said UT guard Skylar McBee, who celebrated Senior Day in style with fellow veterans Kenny Hall, Dwight Miller and Rob Murphy. “We have that right now.”

Junior guard Jordan McRae fueled the Vols’ season-defining 16-4 run with two 3-pointers and a tip-in at the rim. The first 3 cut Missouri’s lead to 50-46 with 8 minutes, 29 seconds left. The second bomb dropped with 6:33 left, trimming a wilting advantage to 53-52.

While the key to UT’s late charge was defensive stops, the scoring didn’t hurt.

“Just to see those go in — there was no better time for those shots to go in,” said McRae, who finished with a team-high 15 points scoring one point on 0-for-4 shooting in the first half that ended tied 29-29.

Up 55-53 with 3:56 to go, Golden triggered a bomb of his own giving UT a five-point buffer with 3:53 remaining.

“We all knew we could either sit down and let 22,000 fans see us lose when they came to support or pull out the victory any way how,” said Golden, who notched 12 points and four assists. “That’s what we did.”

Martin ditched his orange tie as the game clock approached the three-minute mark.

“It was getting heated,” he said. “It had to go.”

With UT leading 60-57 with 1:33 left, Missouri point guard Phil Pressey prepared to in-bound the ball under the Tigers’ basket.

As the referee readied to flip the ball to Pressey, UT’s Josh Richardson looked over to the sideline at a tie-less Martin.

“He was jumping up and down like, ‘Get your hands up!’ and so as soon as the ref handed him the ball I started jumping and I timed the lob,” said Richardson, who added 11 points.

The tipped pass turned into a turnover.

A layup by Jarnell Stokes pushed the Vols’ lead back to five. Stokes finished with another ho-hum 13-point, 13-rebound double-double, his 14th of the season. The sophomore power forward anchored an effort that saw UT outrebound Missouri, the SEC’s top rebounding team, 45-32.

“We wanted that game from a rebounding standpoint,” Martin said.

Five of those rebounds and seven points came from unheralded 6-foot-5 guard Quinton Chievous. The son of Derrick Chievous, Missouri’s all-time leading scorer (2,580 points), delivered an early spark in a sluggish first half.

“(Missouri is) a great team and it is really going to help us push to make a run in the SEC tournament,” Quinton Chievous said.

The Vols, notably the seniors, streamed toward the UT student section afterward. The announced crowd of 21,767 exceeded Thompson-Boling’s capacity.

“The crowd was amazing, especially for the last home game,” McRae said. “Even when we got down eight or 10, they were still a force.”

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 111

baldingalum writes:

I agree with commentators. We're IN!

John_10065 writes:

This team seems to get stronger as the game progresses.

It was a very good win and rattled the brackets. I think that outside a miserable breakdown in Nashville next week, UT is in.

jt45 writes:

Great way to come back and get another quality win. That should just about do it and with todays UK win I think our RPI will take another jump in the standings.

Congrats to Hall and McBee on a semor day victory.

TopTenn writes:

Great job players and coaches, keep fighting. GBO! Win the SEC tourney.

volinowensboroky writes:

Way to go Vols. Let's go and win the tourney. MO once again found a way to lose on the road with that ill advised 3 pointer when the Vols were up. MO did the same thing at KY. They never figured out how to win on the road. Great win.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to TopTenn:

Great job players and coaches, keep fighting. GBO! Win the SEC tourney.

No doubt, every team seeded above UT has been beaten by them..I like their chances in Nashville as well..GBO!!

HtownVol writes:

BEST EFFORT I have seen UT play with since Memphis in 08!!
If UT played with that effort they can beat most teams. Not got the talent the top teams do (til nest season) but Tennessee will need to play that hard in the dance to make the sweet 16 or farther.
It would be nce to get a SEC tourney championship. That tourney has been a nightmare for UT but this is the first season that it is wide open.
Right now I see UT getting a 12 seed. One win gets them an 11 seed and 2 or more and they get at best an 8 seed.
Lets hope McRae and Stokes return cuz this team can be the best in the SEC and a top 10 with the new guys , Maymon and all retutning players.
I only hope Mcrae at least learned from Hopson. Same player in playing style but McRae is a harder worker and better scorer, Hopson had more talent. I dont see either player as a first rounder and if not return and lock up that first round pick.
GO VOLS

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Great game. Great seniors. I hope we still have a couple of seniors next year too.hehe

Great job Stokes. Great second half McRae. Great job Richardson out hustling theirs. Golden did great with ball control and was key again in the win. I may just be wrong about him not being a point now.

SEC Tourney here we come. NCAAs? Dare we believe?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Great come back after Bowers jam that put Mizzo up big..Vols just wanted it more..Nice to see Josh come hard in the last 8 minutes. If McRae has better first half it's a route..I believe this has us facing Auburn vs USC winner

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

College games are a real marathon.

One thing I'd like to change:
reduce the shot-clock 30.

Tennball writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No doubt, every team seeded above UT has been beaten by them..I like their chances in Nashville as well..GBO!!

Except Ol Miss of course.

tennlions writes:

Great win. As someone has already said, anything but an ugly first round loss in the tournament should send UT dancing. The key is to win 2 games (or more)and get away from that play-in game.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Tennball:

Except Ol Miss of course.

Good point, I would love to get another shot at that SA Henderson and spoil their SEC tourney like they did to UT last year..GBO!!

redskinvol1 writes:

Great win on senior day!Thank you seniors for being Vols.The team still needs one or maybe two more wins in the sec tourney to get in the big dance.A conference upset or two and they might get the boot.Just keep winning!Go Vols!

SevenT writes:

Homer Cookin

underthehill writes:

in response to SevenT:

Homer Cookin

Just like when they beat UK by 30?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

BEST EFFORT I have seen UT play with since Memphis in 08!!
If UT played with that effort they can beat most teams. Not got the talent the top teams do (til nest season) but Tennessee will need to play that hard in the dance to make the sweet 16 or farther.
It would be nce to get a SEC tourney championship. That tourney has been a nightmare for UT but this is the first season that it is wide open.
Right now I see UT getting a 12 seed. One win gets them an 11 seed and 2 or more and they get at best an 8 seed.
Lets hope McRae and Stokes return cuz this team can be the best in the SEC and a top 10 with the new guys , Maymon and all retutning players.
I only hope Mcrae at least learned from Hopson. Same player in playing style but McRae is a harder worker and better scorer, Hopson had more talent. I dont see either player as a first rounder and if not return and lock up that first round pick.
GO VOLS

Good comment. I think McRae is a more versatile and mentally tougher player than Scotty. If Scotty ever got off to the kind of start McRae had today, he would have sulked and packed it in. Jordan kept battling, rebounding, passing, and defending, thus helping keep the Vols in the game until his shot came around.

However, as Jimmy Dykes said, there is a difference between being ready for the draft and actually making an NBA squad. For that reason, he and Stokes should both come back next season. Right now, I would have to say that they both have NBA potential, but both need to get better in some crucial areas to be the pro players they could be, Stokes perhaps even more than McRae.

The Vols could be a genuine contender for the national championship next year--yes, I said it!--if those two get just a little more efficient, Maymon comes back strong, and Hubbs is the player everybody seems to think he is. And, yes, I know some people will say that Golden at PG will be that team's Achilles heel even with all that other talent and experience. Well, ball-handling is one area in which I hope McRae will improve and Maymon's ball-handling and the defensive attention he will draw will go far in covering for any of Golden's perceived weaknesses as a PG. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Great come back after Bowers jam that put Mizzo up big..Vols just wanted it more..Nice to see Josh come hard in the last 8 minutes. If McRae has better first half it's a route..I believe this has us facing Auburn vs USC winner

I agree. A great big Hee-Haw SAA-LUTE! to Josh today! He really left it all on the floor, blood, sweat, and tears. Really a great sign how they hung in there even when Jordan was being defended the way he was. Moore and Chievous had some good moments as well. A total team effort in a game they had to win.

CoverOrange writes:

The road goes through Miss St or SC, then Alabama, then Florida. Alabama will be playing for their tournament life. Glad we're not playing Georgia again unless they get by Florida. The final, if we can even dream, would most likely face Kentucky, Mizzou, or Ole Miss.

First, I want the Vols to win it.
Second, I want the Wildcats to lose as early as possible.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

College games are a real marathon.

One thing I'd like to change:
reduce the shot-clock 30.

I guess I could live with reducing the shot clock to 30 seconds, but I surely wouldn't want it to go below that. The longer college shot clock gives less-talented teams a chance to make the more-talented teams sweat on defense and maybe prevent them from turning the game into a track meet which only the fastest and strongest teams can win.

VolBy3 writes:

Must win 2 in Nashville. Not sure who the 4 seed is, but that is the one we have to win to get in. Make it easy on us Vols and win it all!

All4Vols!!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

I tell you what, the 4OT game at Texas A&M was epic, but this one just about trumped it. I was such a treat seeing these guys coming together as a team, and what about Jordy Mac coming through at the end. Rough start, but he got hot at just the right time! Even Mcbee with a couple threes! These guys needed this win, not just because it may be the thing that gets them in the round of 64, but they beat a team as physical as they were. It was a hard-fought, ground out victory! Congrats Vols, and congrats Coach Martin! What a game!! GBO!!!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to SevenT:

Homer Cookin

NOw..now...now...don't diminish your blue-kitty's win over FU. They earned it! I mean, they might've gotten just a little help from the black and white, but just a little...

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No doubt, every team seeded above UT has been beaten by them..I like their chances in Nashville as well..GBO!!

I dunno...seems like every year they give an underwhelming performance at the tournament. But this win was a huge spark, so hopefully you're right.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

The road goes through Miss St or SC, then Alabama, then Florida. Alabama will be playing for their tournament life. Glad we're not playing Georgia again unless they get by Florida. The final, if we can even dream, would most likely face Kentucky, Mizzou, or Ole Miss.

First, I want the Vols to win it.
Second, I want the Wildcats to lose as early as possible.

If the Vols play as well as they CAN play, they could go all the way in the SEC tourney. However, to do that, they would not only have to beat a team or two that has already beaten them, twice in the case of Ole Miss, AND overcome a LONG history of tournament underachievement. Hopefully, finding a way to win some of these close games like the kind they were losing earlier has given them the confidence they need to overcome that history.

volspaws writes:

Cuonzo Martin is a heck of a basketball coach....this team was dead in the water a month ago and now might be the best in the conference...it's obvious that his players leave blood and guts on the floor for him. The powers that be need to do what it takes to assure that he's our coach for a long time

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

I dunno...seems like every year they give an underwhelming performance at the tournament. But this win was a huge spark, so hopefully you're right.

You're correct, but I remember UT did win the SEC tourney a while back..Hopefully this team uses the old cliche' one game at a time and doesn't listen to the sports analyst saying UT has done enough without winning anymore games.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

'79....I was 6.

I was 17 that year..Good grief.

Snapshot writes:

in response to SevenT:

Homer Cookin

Glad you were watching. By the way, 88-58!

volspaws writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

'79....I was 6.

Remember it well.....We beat Kentucky 3 times that year, including an epic game in the tournament....Bert Bertlekamp was the point guard....Terry Crosby had a great tournament...Don DeVoe's first year if i remember correctly

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

I still think we gotta win two to get in because that second game is against a fellow bubble team. I say the winner of a Tennessee vs Alabama game dances and a loser goes to the nit

vol98champ writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

I dunno...seems like every year they give an underwhelming performance at the tournament. But this win was a huge spark, so hopefully you're right.

I have hated this tournament for so long, that I almost expect USC or MST to shoot 65% and send us packing. Just once I would like to see us play a cold team or two and get to enjoy this !@#%@@ tournament.

RememberWhen writes:

Anybody that thinks this team is in the Dance because of today's win is delusional...Jimmy Dykes included! There's a whole list of things still either unknown or against TN...including:

1. They still don't have 20 wins. Check the history of how many at-larges there have been with less than 20 wins. Even if they beat SC/MissSt to get to 20, they still have to beat Alabama in a "bracketbuster" game to have a shot. And even if they do that, and then lose to FL, they're only 21-12 which is still not a good thing in a bad league!

2. Nobody knows what upsets may occur in conf tourneys by teams that won't get in otherwise. Those upsets in leagues with a team or two that are already locks will knock out bubble teams from bigger conferences - aka TN.

3. History hasn't been kind to at large teams with RPI's above 40...in fact, it's been VERY unkind. TN will not get below this number. The SOS doesn't help and the mix of quality wins vs bad losses isn't favorable.

4. The committee isn't going to be favorable to the SEC. 4 of the 9 members deciding (not counting the SEC member that must recuse himself) on SEC teams are from the west coast, 1 is from the Big 10 (which is well-known to hate the SEC), and 3 others are from the ACC, Big12 and CUSA - all with biases of their own. This is the one time each year that others can get a little payback for the SEC football arrogance and there is no doubt they aren't going to give any SEC team the benefit of the doubt.

5. They're in SIXTH place in a league that is not strong and will likely not get more than 3 or 4 bids. They have zero WOW factor, no stars, no star coaches, and were a .500 team just a month ago! Don't believe all that nonsense about the last 10 games - the committee isn't going to ignore the 2/3 of the season with some of the losses this team had.

6. With 37 at-large spots, you can go through top 6-8 conferences and make a solid argument for 30-34 that are better cases than TN. Add in the next tier with solid 2nd place teams - assuming their best wins the conf tourney - and you quickly run out of room for not just TN but several others in the big boy conferences.

Bottom line, TN must make it to Saturday in the tourney to have ANY chance and may even need Sunday! Not hating, just the facts.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

Florida is a lock, Kentucky is probably in safely, so the Tennessee Alabama game and ole miss Missouri game are play-in games for the big dance.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to johnlg00:

If the Vols play as well as they CAN play, they could go all the way in the SEC tourney. However, to do that, they would not only have to beat a team or two that has already beaten them, twice in the case of Ole Miss, AND overcome a LONG history of tournament underachievement. Hopefully, finding a way to win some of these close games like the kind they were losing earlier has given them the confidence they need to overcome that history.

If they play as well as they can, yeah, but it seems playing at that level doesn't come naturally. It's way too easy for them to resort to the old form, witness the slow starts in the last several games. I could see them winning the tourney, I could also see them flaming out in the first game. Just have this sense of deja vu all over again. Winning 8 of last 9 looking unbeatable at times, going to OT on the road for one of those wins against a lesser team, the one loss a bad one on the road. Call me a pessimist, either way, I'm watching the Vols.

RememberWhen writes:

in response to volspaws:

Cuonzo Martin is a heck of a basketball coach....this team was dead in the water a month ago and now might be the best in the conference...it's obvious that his players leave blood and guts on the floor for him. The powers that be need to do what it takes to assure that he's our coach for a long time

Seriously? Isn't he the same guy that "led" them to 11-10 at one point???? If CCM was all that he wouldn't (a) be looking for his first EVER trip to the dance as a head coach and (b) wouldn't be sweating it out as a bubble team in a conference that is no better than 8th best in the country!

RememberWhen writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Good comment. I think McRae is a more versatile and mentally tougher player than Scotty. If Scotty ever got off to the kind of start McRae had today, he would have sulked and packed it in. Jordan kept battling, rebounding, passing, and defending, thus helping keep the Vols in the game until his shot came around.

However, as Jimmy Dykes said, there is a difference between being ready for the draft and actually making an NBA squad. For that reason, he and Stokes should both come back next season. Right now, I would have to say that they both have NBA potential, but both need to get better in some crucial areas to be the pro players they could be, Stokes perhaps even more than McRae.

The Vols could be a genuine contender for the national championship next year--yes, I said it!--if those two get just a little more efficient, Maymon comes back strong, and Hubbs is the player everybody seems to think he is. And, yes, I know some people will say that Golden at PG will be that team's Achilles heel even with all that other talent and experience. Well, ball-handling is one area in which I hope McRae will improve and Maymon's ball-handling and the defensive attention he will draw will go far in covering for any of Golden's perceived weaknesses as a PG. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

LMAO!!! Can I get you another cup of kool-aid??? First, there is nobody on this roster that will ever make a dime in the NBA. Second, NC contender next year? Seriously? This team - even as you project it for next year - isn't anywhere near as good as Pearl's best team that went to the Elite Eight yet you wanna talk NC???? That pure delusional - funny, but delusional!!

tennlions writes:

in response to volspaws:

Remember it well.....We beat Kentucky 3 times that year, including an epic game in the tournament....Bert Bertlekamp was the point guard....Terry Crosby had a great tournament...Don DeVoe's first year if i remember correctly

Which year was it when a terrible UT team went to the finals of the SEC tourney? I think, when they lost in the finals, they still had single digit wins.

FanNotSheep writes:

Vols can't afford a 1-and-done SEC trip, but I don't think they have to win two games after this one. Great win today! Love to see them continue to play well and that probably results in two wins anyhow. Then we might see a 10-seed. I'd be happy with an 11 or 12, because any of those gets a 2 or 3-seed if you win the first one. I think this year's field is a relatively weak one after the top seeds. Not saying Vols are great team but when the big 3 are hitting on all cylinders they can pull an upset.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

LMAO!!! Can I get you another cup of kool-aid??? First, there is nobody on this roster that will ever make a dime in the NBA. Second, NC contender next year? Seriously? This team - even as you project it for next year - isn't anywhere near as good as Pearl's best team that went to the Elite Eight yet you wanna talk NC???? That pure delusional - funny, but delusional!!

What you call "delusional" I call optimistic. You are nothing but a wet blanket. You also have no appreciation of what a fine line there is between winning and losing. It wouldn't have taken THAT much more for this team to already be closing in on 25 wins THIS season without their best player.

As for the pro prospects of McRae and Stokes, it IS really hard to get into the NBA and harder still to stay for more than a couple of years, but there are players with no more talent than those two who have had nice long careers. I'm really sorry that your life hasn't turned out the way you had hoped to the point where you can't seem to find any positives anywhere, but I'm not going to let it ruin MY day.

tennlions writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

Anybody that thinks this team is in the Dance because of today's win is delusional...Jimmy Dykes included! There's a whole list of things still either unknown or against TN...including:

1. They still don't have 20 wins. Check the history of how many at-larges there have been with less than 20 wins. Even if they beat SC/MissSt to get to 20, they still have to beat Alabama in a "bracketbuster" game to have a shot. And even if they do that, and then lose to FL, they're only 21-12 which is still not a good thing in a bad league!

2. Nobody knows what upsets may occur in conf tourneys by teams that won't get in otherwise. Those upsets in leagues with a team or two that are already locks will knock out bubble teams from bigger conferences - aka TN.

3. History hasn't been kind to at large teams with RPI's above 40...in fact, it's been VERY unkind. TN will not get below this number. The SOS doesn't help and the mix of quality wins vs bad losses isn't favorable.

4. The committee isn't going to be favorable to the SEC. 4 of the 9 members deciding (not counting the SEC member that must recuse himself) on SEC teams are from the west coast, 1 is from the Big 10 (which is well-known to hate the SEC), and 3 others are from the ACC, Big12 and CUSA - all with biases of their own. This is the one time each year that others can get a little payback for the SEC football arrogance and there is no doubt they aren't going to give any SEC team the benefit of the doubt.

5. They're in SIXTH place in a league that is not strong and will likely not get more than 3 or 4 bids. They have zero WOW factor, no stars, no star coaches, and were a .500 team just a month ago! Don't believe all that nonsense about the last 10 games - the committee isn't going to ignore the 2/3 of the season with some of the losses this team had.

6. With 37 at-large spots, you can go through top 6-8 conferences and make a solid argument for 30-34 that are better cases than TN. Add in the next tier with solid 2nd place teams - assuming their best wins the conf tourney - and you quickly run out of room for not just TN but several others in the big boy conferences.

Bottom line, TN must make it to Saturday in the tourney to have ANY chance and may even need Sunday! Not hating, just the facts.

Funny...when people tell you they're not haters, that generally means they're haters.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to tennlions:

Which year was it when a terrible UT team went to the finals of the SEC tourney? I think, when they lost in the finals, they still had single digit wins.

That was under the guidance of Wade Houston..

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

LMAO!!! Can I get you another cup of kool-aid??? First, there is nobody on this roster that will ever make a dime in the NBA. Second, NC contender next year? Seriously? This team - even as you project it for next year - isn't anywhere near as good as Pearl's best team that went to the Elite Eight yet you wanna talk NC???? That pure delusional - funny, but delusional!!

JERK

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

LMAO!!! Can I get you another cup of kool-aid??? First, there is nobody on this roster that will ever make a dime in the NBA. Second, NC contender next year? Seriously? This team - even as you project it for next year - isn't anywhere near as good as Pearl's best team that went to the Elite Eight yet you wanna talk NC???? That pure delusional - funny, but delusional!!

Will you settle for a cup of hemlock instead??

tennlions writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

Seriously? Isn't he the same guy that "led" them to 11-10 at one point???? If CCM was all that he wouldn't (a) be looking for his first EVER trip to the dance as a head coach and (b) wouldn't be sweating it out as a bubble team in a conference that is no better than 8th best in the country!

So given your logic, any coach who has never made the dance sucks? Pearl had made the dance just once before coming to UT...too bad he was a lying cheater and that's as bad as there is. So they were 11-10..big deal. Isn't the point to improve? Most of the tournament field after the top 5 seeds have lost nearly 10 games.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

LMAO!!! Can I get you another cup of kool-aid??? First, there is nobody on this roster that will ever make a dime in the NBA. Second, NC contender next year? Seriously? This team - even as you project it for next year - isn't anywhere near as good as Pearl's best team that went to the Elite Eight yet you wanna talk NC???? That pure delusional - funny, but delusional!!

Calm down.
No since getting this upset just because Coach Majors attended the first day of spring football practice and Coach Fulmer didn't.

tennlions writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

That was under the guidance of Wade Houston..

Thanks, BB. I remember that many in the national media were horrified about the prospect of a team with 9 or 10 wins getting in the tournament.

underthehill writes:

in response to mbible1utk#324980:

Florida is a lock, Kentucky is probably in safely, so the Tennessee Alabama game and ole miss Missouri game are play-in games for the big dance.

TN is in better shape than KY because of the 30 point blowout..the committee looks at the team KY is now..not the team they were with Noels..

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

Anybody that thinks this team is in the Dance because of today's win is delusional...Jimmy Dykes included! There's a whole list of things still either unknown or against TN...including:

1. They still don't have 20 wins. Check the history of how many at-larges there have been with less than 20 wins. Even if they beat SC/MissSt to get to 20, they still have to beat Alabama in a "bracketbuster" game to have a shot. And even if they do that, and then lose to FL, they're only 21-12 which is still not a good thing in a bad league!

2. Nobody knows what upsets may occur in conf tourneys by teams that won't get in otherwise. Those upsets in leagues with a team or two that are already locks will knock out bubble teams from bigger conferences - aka TN.

3. History hasn't been kind to at large teams with RPI's above 40...in fact, it's been VERY unkind. TN will not get below this number. The SOS doesn't help and the mix of quality wins vs bad losses isn't favorable.

4. The committee isn't going to be favorable to the SEC. 4 of the 9 members deciding (not counting the SEC member that must recuse himself) on SEC teams are from the west coast, 1 is from the Big 10 (which is well-known to hate the SEC), and 3 others are from the ACC, Big12 and CUSA - all with biases of their own. This is the one time each year that others can get a little payback for the SEC football arrogance and there is no doubt they aren't going to give any SEC team the benefit of the doubt.

5. They're in SIXTH place in a league that is not strong and will likely not get more than 3 or 4 bids. They have zero WOW factor, no stars, no star coaches, and were a .500 team just a month ago! Don't believe all that nonsense about the last 10 games - the committee isn't going to ignore the 2/3 of the season with some of the losses this team had.

6. With 37 at-large spots, you can go through top 6-8 conferences and make a solid argument for 30-34 that are better cases than TN. Add in the next tier with solid 2nd place teams - assuming their best wins the conf tourney - and you quickly run out of room for not just TN but several others in the big boy conferences.

Bottom line, TN must make it to Saturday in the tourney to have ANY chance and may even need Sunday! Not hating, just the facts.

I would agree for the most part accept for SOS..There is little or no talk of Ole Miss.No chance they get 23 wins playing our schedule.Rebs played 13 straight teams out of the top of Fifty and still lost 2 of them!! Never the less we still need 2 wins to have a prayer

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