Tennessee Basketball Joins Upset Madness, Knocks Out Massachusetts

By Shane Phillips
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Sound the alarm, the NCAA tournament has posted another upset; well, sort of. Now I will allow you to complain to the Selection Committee. The 11th seeded Tennessee Volunteers handed it to the sixth seeded Massachusetts Minutemen, 86-67. Based on the facts, it should be considered an upset. Tennessee had to win a play-in game to get to the field of 64, but it looked like UMass was the team that truly deserved to be in the play-in game.

From the tip, Tennessee took control, speeding up the tempo and keeping the Minutemen on their heels. It was fastbreak lay-up after fastbreak lay-up. Just when it looked like UMass was ready to mount a run, Tennessee would trample them. At no point did the game look like a matchup between a sixth and 11th seed, but instead a one vs. 16.

For Tennessee, the win was only part of the good news as their path to the Sweet Sixteen got a lot sweeter with the heavy-underdog Mercer knocked off Duke, setting up a third-round meeting between an 11th seed and 14th seed. After the performance I witnessed today, I wouldn’t hesitate to take Tennessee.

But back to the Volunteers’ beating of the Minutemen. I realize that upsets occur, but what did the committee really think would happen if they paired an SEC team against an Atlantic 10 team? Not to mention that SEC team was heavily under-seeded. I suppose you can’t get them all right, but the Selection Committee really missed the boat on this game.

Shane Phillips is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.

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