The Volunteers are in a fortunate position.
Following its first conference loss in Starkville last week, Tennessee’s situation has stabilized thanks to a furious comeback against Georgia and a resounding victory over Florida. Zakai Zeigler is playing at a level we have never seen from him, while Dalton Knecht is blazing hot.
Notwithstanding some lackluster offensive performance from Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James, those two, along with some assistance from big man Jonas Aidoo, have Tennessee winning basketball games. When the Volunteers meet Alabama on Saturday, who has won six straight games, they’ll be hoping to maintain that formula.
For some weeks now, different NCAA Tournament forecasts have had Tennessee, currently with an overall record of 13-4, locked in as the two-seed. Tennessee has profited from some instability and upsets at the top of the seed list, which hasn’t hurt too much after those early defeats in crucial games against Purdue, Kansas, and North Carolina.
Joe Lunardi of ESPN says Tennessee is still favored to finish as the second seed this week. Lunardi scheduled a first-round meeting between the Vols and No. 15 seed St. Peters in Purdue’s region. The top-seeded SEC club in the prediction is Tennessee, closely followed by Auburn and Kentucky, who are both ranked third. Alabama is ranked No. 4 in this instance. In total, eight SEC clubs qualified for this specific event.
Jerry Palm of CBS Sports predicts Tennessee to finish as the No. 2 seed and go into Purdue’s region.
At the moment, Tennessee is ranked sixth overall in the NCAA’s NET rankings. They’ve been flawless thus far in other matches, but they’re 2-4 in Quad 1 matchups. The fifth-ranked NET team, Alabama, will test the Volunteers’ home record this Saturday. They have remained unbeaten at home this season.