The Tennessee Volunteers from the city of Knoxville play basketball in the SEC. Although they haven’t reached the same heights as the Lady Volunteers (the most winning women’s basketball program), the men’s basketball has been respectable for many years. Tennessee’s most successful era was under coach Bruce Pearl from 2005-2011 during which the Volunteer’s played in every NCAA Tournament and peaked at #1 in the nation for a short period during the 2007-2008 season.
The Volunteers deepest NCAA Tournament run came in 2010. Tennessee was ranked in the top #25 for the entirety of the season and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as a #6 seed in the Midwest Region. The Volunteers defeated the #11 seed San Diego State Aztecs by the narrow margin of 62-59 in the first round and took care of the #14 Ohio Bobcats in the second round. In the Sweet Sixteen, the Volunteers took on the #2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes. Despite giving up 31 points to Evan Turner, Tennessee was able to beat Ohio State by a score of 76-73 thanks to a buzzer beating 3-point shot at the end of regulation by J.P. Prince. In the Elite Eight, Tennessee played the #5 seed Michigan State Spartans and hung close but weren’t able to come out on top, losing by a score of 70-69.
Tennessee Volunteers Recent NCAA Tourament History
In 2014, Tennessee made its first NCAA Tournament since coach Bruce Pearl’s firing in 2011. The Volunteers received an at-large bid and had to play the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round to determine who would enter the bracket as the #11 seed. The game went to OT, but Tennessee was able to force Iowa to only one point in the final frame and won the game by a score of 78-65. The Volunteers went to upset the #6 seed Massachusetts Minutemen by the huge margin of 86-67 on the strength of Jordan McRae’s 26 points. Tennessee also defeated the #14 seed Mercer Bear’s by a score 83-63, giving the Volunteers revenge for their loss to Mercer in the first round of the 2013 NIT. In the Sweet Sixteen, Tennessee lost a close gave against the #7 seed Michigan Wolverines by a score of 73-71.