You should know the story by now, the Tennessee Volunteers are on the bubble.
With only a few days remaining before Selection Sunday, there is still work to do. Tennessee kicks off their potential SEC Tournament run with Mississippi State, who advanced past South Carolina on Wednesday.
The SEC Tournament is one of the longer fields in the country, spanning five days overall. In fact, their are still four more teams awaiting winners from Thursday’s action. That’s the position that Tennessee is in. The Vols face a must win situation with Mississippi State and then a potential quarterfinal round match-up with Alabama.
Two wins in they’re in? That’s what the big picture should look like for Tennessee.
For the time being however, the Vols remain focused on Mississippi State. Having faced them once already this season, Tennessee should feel comfortable with the Bulldogs, but not overly comfortable considering what is at stake.
The first and only time that these two teams have met this season was back on Jan. 19, so surely some things have changed since then. Most notably however, is the resurgence of this Tennessee squad. The Vols beat the Bulldogs by a final score of 72-57 the first time around as Jarnell Stokes led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
That right there showcases the biggest key to the Vols’ ability to handle Mississippi State on Thursday. It has to be Stokes.
Tip-off between Tennessee and Mississippi State is scheduled for 3:30pm (EST).
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS