The Tennessee Volunteers have appeared out of nowhere into the bubble discussion after winning six of their last seven games, including a 30-point win over Kentucky and a win over the then No. 8 Florida Gators. The Volunteers are one of the hottest teams in the country, and will win the SEC tournament. Here are a few of the major reasons:
The Volunteers have only lost three games at home all season – only two in SEC play. The SEC tournament is in Nashville, and, because the Nashville-located Vanderbilt Commodores have played so poorly this season, the tournament will basically be a long schedule of daily home games for Tennessee. Besides Kentucky (the Wildcats always travel well), the Volunteers will have the largest fan base at the tournament.
Cuonzo Martin is one of the best coaches in the country the closer the season gets to March. He’s 13-3 overall in the month of February and has swept a top 10 ranked Florida the entire time he’s been head coach for the Vols. Martin has coached everything out of his players, it’s about time that they paid him back with a trophy.
No one in the SEC, and maybe even the country, can stop Jordan McRae. The Junior has scored 34, 35, 23, and 27 in the past four games. His 35 points in the lone loss during the win streak to Georgia was one of the most outstanding performances a player has put into a loss since Phil Pressey’s 19 assists against UCLA. If he can get some help from Trae Golden (his 0 points are the reason the Volunteers lost to Georgia) and Jarnell Stokes doesn’t get into foul trouble, this is one of the most dangerous trios of players in the entire country.
It seems a stretch to say that the Volunteers will win the SEC tournament if you look at their SEC losses, but Tennessee should at least get one-bye in the SEC tournament, which will mean the Volunteers. Tennessee are the most equipped team at the moment to win the SEC tournament and Coach Martin, McRae, Golden, and Stokes know that it’s their time in the SEC.