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NCAA Basketball SEC BasketballTennessee Volunteers

The Tennessee Volunteers Have to Start Winning

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers must beat Missouri and Kentucky or Florida to make it to the NCAA tournament–a daunting prospect for a team that has been constantly up and down all season.

This season started with very high expectations for the Volunteers, but a lack of consistent offense has hindered their effort. Tennessee was predicted to finish fifth in the SEC, and that finish is still likely if they can defeat multiple mid-range teams. However, unlike Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas A&M, the Volunteers have few bad losses and a couple of resume boosting wins. Wins against Xavier, UMass, and Wichita State will boost the Volunteers chances of making it to the tournament.

If Tennessee doesn’t make the tournament, the Volunteers will look at the close losses to Georgetown, Virginia and Memphis as games that they were leading at near the end and let slip away. The Volunteers had every opportunity to win these games, but just could not get it done during crunch time. Tennessee’s weakness all season has been losing focus at the end of games.

If Tennessee wants to make it to the tournament, it can only afford to lose two more games (more if they can beat Florida). Unfortunately, there are many mid-range SEC teams left and the Volunteers have as much opportunity to lose as they do win. The Volunteers may not make it to March Madness this year, but they will not go down without a fight. Expect a crazy last few games of the season for Tennessee.