Bubble Watch: Tennessee Jeopardizes Tournament Chances With Road Loss

By Greg Douglas
Randy Sartin-USATODAY Sports

The SEC is looking more and more like a three bid league as the days continue to grow shorter in the college basketball season with the Tennessee Volunteers currently on the outside looking in. While losing to a tournament bound team is not necessarily a bad thing, the Volunteers need every possible win down the stretch and the loss to the Missouri Tigers was just another step in the wrong direction. The Volunteers will be one of many teams sweating it out come Selection Sunday, but Tennessee could still help its cause greatly by running the table down the stretch against several mediocre teams.

Tennessee lost another close game Saturday at Missouri in a game that did not lack in the scoring department. The Tigers defeated the Volunteers 75-70 behind Jabari Brown‘s sensational performance. Brown recorded 24 points on 8-12 shooting while also leading the team in rebounding. Tennessee’s Jordan McRae put up 31 points and grabbed six rebounds in an effort that just fell short for the Volunteers. Tennessee is just 6-6 in conference play, but remain tied for fifth in the league that has garnered criticism for being top-heavy.

The Volunteers’ remaining schedule features match-ups against SEC bottom-feeders while playing zero top 25 opponents down the stretch. Will Tennessee be the beneficiary of being in a top-heavy conference, or will the Vols play the consequences of playing lesser competition?

In the end, the Volunteers will benefit from playing in the SEC as it possesses name value which could ultimately lead to more tournament bids for the conference. Tennessee is arguably the fourth best team in a power conference which will serve the Vols well come Selection Sunday.

Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.

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