Everything on the line today.
No. 2 seed Tennessee is set to take on the No. 10 seed Iowa Hawkeyes today in Columbus with a trip to the sweet sixteen on the line. The Vols advanced with a close win over a pesky Colgate squad while Iowa pulled a mild upset over Cincinnati on Friday.
Iowa went 23-11 this season, coming away with an even 10-10 mark in Big Ten play. Despite their upset on Friday, the Hawkeyes have lost five of their last seven games. However, some hot shooting (50 percent from three-point range) was enough to topple the Bearcats. Yet again, the Vols’ defense of the three-point line will go a long way in determining this one.
Location: Columbus, Ohio
TV Channel: CBS
Tip-off time: 12:10 p.m. ET
Streaming: March Madness Live
Odds: Tennessee -8
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No. 2 seed Tennessee (30-5) faces No. 10 Iowa (23-11) on Sunday (12:10 p.m. ET, CBS) at Nationwide Arena for a trip to the Sweet 16.
The Hawkeyes have a shot at making their first sweet 16 in 20 years. If Iowa wins, it will go down as Fran McCaffery's biggest win during his nine-year tenure.
The Vols 2nd Opponent in the Big Dance is an interesting match-up.
The Vols survived a pesky Colgate team on Friday, creating an intriguing match-up with the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday. Iowa is a very inconsistent team, they went from a top 25 team in February to a team that had losses to Rutgers, Illinois, and Nebraska in March. The Hawkeye’s slump in March also included 2 blowout losses to Wisconsin (65-45) and Michigan (74-53).
The Iowa Offense
For the Vols to reach their first Sweet 16 since the 2014 season, they will need to shutdown the Iowa offense. Iowa’s offense all starts with Tyler Cook (14.6 PPG) and Luka Garza (13.1 PPG). In the Hawkeye’s 79-72 thriller win over Cincinnati, Cook struggled, finishing with only 5 points and 5 rebounds. However, Garza finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds, leading Iowa to the win. Garza’s performance was one of his best all season, as he shot 72.7% from the field and played 32 minutes.
Iowa guards Joe Wieskamp and Jordan Bohannon could also pose problems for Rick Barnes’s defense. Wieskamp shoots 43.3% from 3, and averages 11 points per game. On the other hand, Bohannon averages 38.2% from beyond the arch on the season, with 11.4 points per game. Another weapon for the Hawkeye’s offense is 6’5’’ junior guard Isaiah Moss. Moss averages 41.3% from 3, this season and averages 9 points a game.
The Iowa Defense
Iowa’s team is filled with snipers from beyond the arch that can give Tennessee trouble, but what about their defense? On average this season, Iowa’s defense allowed 73.6 points per game. However, their defense has been slipping recently, allowing 90 points to Ohio State, 86 points to Rutgers, 93 points to Nebraska, 74 to Michigan.
I think this lack-off defensive intensity is what will end up coasting Iowa. Grant Williams will have a monster game in the paint, along with Jordan Bone dissecting Iowa’s defense for a full 40 minutes. Admiral Schofield will also serve as a difference-maker, both inside the paint and knocking down shots from beyond the arch to finish off Iowa’s dreams of a Sweet 16 appearance.
In all, I think Iowa’s offense will show up ready to play, and put some points on the board. However, I do not think Iowa will have an answer for UT’s inside game. I have Tennessee pulling away late to secure their first trip to the Sweet 16 under Rick Barnes.
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Can the Vols make it to the Sweet 16?
As expected, the Raiders’ ability to hit from the perimeter gave the Vols trouble and now Tennessee will face off against a team that shot 50 percent from beyond the arc against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
With that being said, let’s dive into our opponent preview for Round 2.
Conference Record and Standings
- Big Ten Conference
- 23-11 (10-10)
- 6th Big Ten
- Won last game
- F Luka Garza: 20.0 PPG, 72.7 FG%, 66.0 FT%, 66.0 3PT%, 7.0 REB, N/A BLK, N/A AST, 1.0 TO, 32.0 MIN
Garza had an incredible first game. It felt like every shot he took went in and he was stout on the defensive side of the ball, too.
He will be responsible for matching up with Grant Williams and Kyle Alexander. Alexander has had trouble when opponents are matched up size-wise, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can overcome Garza’s presence.
If Garza gets hot from the outside like he did in the first game, then it’ll be a long day for Tennessee.
- F Tyler Cook: 5.0 PPG, 11.1 FG%, 60.0 FT%, N/A 3PT%, 5.0 REB, N/A BLK, 4.0 AST, 1.0 TO, 20.0 MIN
Don’t pay attention to his stats from the first game. Cook is arguably the team’s best player and simply had a rough game in the first round, fouling out in the second half.
He was the team’s leading scorer throughout the season and led the team in rebounds. A true inside presence, Cook allows the team’s snipers to hit the outside shots.
But if he does in get in foul trouble, then Garza can take over like we saw in the first game. The combination of Cook and Garza is bound to give Tennessee trouble on Sunday.
- G Jordan Bohannon: 13.0 PPG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 FT%, 25.0 3PT%, 5.0 REB, 4.0 AST, 1.0 TO, N/A STL, 38.0 MIN
Bohannon is your prototypical hustler. He is a quick little guy that can drive, distribute, and drain it from the perimeter.
But Jordan Bone should be able to contain Bohannon. Lamonte Turner will be key to defending him as well.
He’ll get his points no matter what, but if the Vols can get Bohannon to pass more than shoot, they’ll be in good shape.
**Please note these stats reflect NCAA Tournament stats**
Iowa (+4.5) survived a slow start and a 13-point first half deficit en route to a 79-72 upset of the Bearcats in the first round of the tournament.
Garza led the team with 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting, which included 2 of 3 from long distance. The Hawkeyes had two other players finish with at least 13 points and showed that they have plenty of options on the offensive side of the ball.
The defense struggled at times, but finally found its footing after a switch to zone confused the Bearcats. It allowed the Hawkeyes to take advantage of some late-game turnovers, and an 11-2 run shut the door on any Bearcat attempt at a comeback.
Even though the Vols are (-8) the favorite, this game feels like it’s a trap.
The same issues that have haunted Tennessee cropped up against Colgate and it’s the same issues that allowed Iowa to comeback against Cincinnati.
Turnovers, a lack of penetrations, poor perimeter defense, and no Grant Williams are the four nails that will shut Tennessee’s coffin every time. All of the above must be corrected on Sunday if the Vols want to win.
Iowa has all of the tools to match up with the Vols in the worst way. Garza is another big man that can hit from long distance and Bohannon is a smart, quick, hustling point guard that can score and distribute the ball. Don’t forget Wieskamp, either.
But maybe all of the postgame talk about pregame jitters holds more weight than originally thought. Maybe the anxiety of wanting to play did have a factor on this team.
Regardless, we will find out soon enough on Sunday if the pregame jitters did in fact play a role. If the Vols settle down and play their game, then all should be well by Sunday afternoon. If they continue to play as they have the past two games, then bank on an Iowa victory.
Something tells me the Vols will come around and play like the experienced team they are. I don’t know what that something is - but it’s talkin’ in my ear.
I have a feeling the sweet nothings will turn into a trip to the Sweet 16 and boy, would that be sweet.
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Here’s what you need to know.
We’ve cut the NCAA Tournament field in half. The round of 32 gets underway on Saturday, giving us eight more games to take in.
A trio of SEC teams will get the day rolling, each trying to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16. LSU will take on Maryland, Kentucky will face Wofford, while Florida will take on Michigan. Kentucky will once again be without star forward PJ Washington, who is nursing a foot injury.
Other games of interest include Ja Morant and Murray State looking to pull off another upset against Florida State. Auburn will look to stay hot a knock off Kansas later tonight.
The game to watch today for Tennessee fans will be Purdue vs. Villanova — the winner of that game gets the winner of Tennessee-Iowa tomorrow. Interestingly enough, the Vols played both of those teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis last season.
You can find the full schedule listed below.
That screeching sound you hear is the sound of chalk interrupting your daydreams of an upset-filled opening 48 hours at the NCAA Men's Basketball ...
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tennessee's second round NCAA Tournament game against Iowa on Sunday will tipoff at x:xx Eastern Time and will be televised by xx.
What stood out.
... and exhale ...
It’s reasonable to assume any game in the NCAA Tournament will be close, but I imagine a lot of Tennessee fans were hoping this one wouldn’t be such a struggle.
Tennessee won, 77-70, but Colgate didn’t go quietly. The Vols were outscored 40-35 in the second half and let a 12-point halftime lead dwindle down to a two-point deficit before slowing pulling away from the Raiders at the end. Here’s a few quick-hitter-like observations from the game.
The thorn in Tennessee’s side all season nearly caused the Vols to bleed out against the Colgate. The Raiders nailed 15 of of 29 3’s against Tennessee -- the 15 makes is a season-high in 3-pointers allowed for the Vols, and the 51.7 percent is the third-highest percentage from 3 that Tennessee has allowed this season.
This makes two-straight games in which Tennessee has given up more than 50 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point line, and it’s fourth-straight game in which the Vols have given up at least a 45-percent mark from deep.
It wasn’t back-to-back SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams’ best performance. Williams had just nine points on seven shots to go with seven rebounds and 3 assists. He also had three fouls and two turnovers.
Possibly the most troubling stat of the day -- Williams only shot two free throws. Sure, the 3-2 zone gave Tennessee some problems, and it looked like Colgate was doubling Williams when he had the ball and also shading him with a nearby defender when he didn’t have the ball, but everything defensively Tennessee and Williams saw today has been seen before.
When Williams is stymied in the low post, Tennessee needs to get him the ball in the high post. Give him the ball at the elbow, and let him make plays from there.
I don’t think Tennessee wins another game in this tournament if Grant Williams is as ineffective as he was today. The Vols have to get the big fella goin’.
The Other Guys
Turner had one of his best games of the season. In the second half, his defense was pesky and persistent, and overall, his stat line looks exactly how you want it to look: two 3’s, 16 points, six assists, three steals and zero turnovers.
Admiral, always one for theatrics, nailed two free throws and two 3-pointers inside the final two minutes of the game. He hit all three of his 3’s in the second half and provided a timely boost for Tennessee when they needed it most.
Today was the fifth-straight double-digit scoring game for Bone and the 12th time he’s scored at least 10 points in the last 15 games.
Tennessee was pushed to the limit today in Columbus against a hot-shooting Colgate team. The 15th seeded Raiders came up just short of the upset, however, with Admiral Schofield burying two clutch corner three-pointers late to put this one on ice.
Here’s what Rick Barnes said after the game.
“A game like today is what makes the NCAA Tournament the NCAA Tournament. You get a team from a league where, you’ve got a group of guys that just love to play basketball. That’s what it looked like today. They earned their right here.”
On Jordan Burns...
“What can you say about Jordan Burns? I mean he was terrific. He had a magnet in that ball. But I thought they played really hard.”
“He’s better in person than he was on tape, I can tell you that. You knew he was the kind of guard who controls the ball very well. He goes right a lot — as much as you try and keep him from doing that, he still mixes it up. He’s got a quick release. We were switching on some ball screens and he took advantage.”
“I told him he was terrific. I’d like to have him on our team tomorrow — I shouldn’t say that (laughs) that might be called — scratch that.”
On Tennessee’s anxiety...
“I thought we were anxious. I thought we were showing too much anxiety. I think some of it goes to a year ago. We came in here and we talked to the team about it last night — when we had the big lead against Wright State. I told the coaches when we started out the way we did, this is not good. I thought our guys just thought it was going to be that way. Then they came back and got back in the game.”
On Colgate’s gameplan...
“They were daring us to shoot it early. I didn’t think we worked hard enough — Grant Williams didn’t really fight for his positioning. I didn’t think we were very good defensively. I don’t want to take anything away from Colgate because those guys played their hearts out. But to get through this tournament, you’re going to have games like this. You’ve got to love Colgate and what they did today. It’s kind of what I thought they would do. We told our guys last night, don’t expect it to be easy.”
On frustrations with Tennessee settling for long-range shots...
“It’s frustrating because we know what that’s done to us in all five losses. We don’t mind taking them if it’s in the flow of what we’re doing. But it’s when we just settle. We did that too much too early.”
On Colgate’s Rapolas Ivanauskas getting hurt (eye)...
“That probably helped them in the long run. Because they could really spread you out then”
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Survive and advance.
All toothpaste jokes aside, that was a close enough brush with defeat for the Tennessee Volunteers.
A little less than a year after the stunning loss to the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, the Vols knew nothing would come easy in this year’s tournament.
Boy, were they right.
Triston Fairchild was able to break the 2:30 scoring drought for the Raiders and finally get them on the board. Tennessee was able to grab a quick bucket, but back-to-back 3s from Burns closed the gap to 11-8 just a few possessions later.
The Raiders had gone on a 10-4 run since UT’s opening lead and now trailed just 13-10 with 13:38 left in the first half. Bowden continued to make plays, hitting a big 3 to put the Vols up six, but it wasn’t enough to silence his opponents, especially Burns.
Burns drained another one from long distance and had nine of the Raiders’ 13 points. He was 3 of 3 from beyond the arc, while the rest of the team was 1 of 9 from the field.
The Vols now led, 16-13 with 12:00 to go in the first half. Jack Ferguson came through with a 3 of his own after a Tennessee bucket to cut the lead to 20-18 and all of a sudden it looked as if Colgate had some major momentum.
The Vols continued to force turnovers and play stout interior defense, which led to a 16-2 run and a Colgate scoring drought that lasted over 7:00 of play. Tennessee was able to build a 36-20 lead before a Raymond 3 with 2:15 left in the first half broke the run and cut the lead to 13 points.
Colgate was able to get back within 10 points, but the Vols were able to finish the first half with a 42-30 lead.
Tennessee finished the first half 18 of 36 from the floor, including 4 of 13 from outside. The Vols outrebounded the Raiders 17-13, but the real story was the eight turnovers they forced. Six of the eight turnovers were steals, as Tennessee’s busy hands helped limit Colgate’s scoring chances.
Turner and Bowden both led the team with 10 points each. They combined for 8 of 14 overall, including 4 of 9 from long distance.
Burns led the Raiders with 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting - all of his points were from 3-point shots. But the team finished the half 11 of 39 overall, shooting 6 of 12 from the outside.
If the Vols could just limit their own mistakes, the second half should come pretty easy.
Well, the Vols limited their mistakes early on, but the Raiders came out of halftime on fire from beyond the arc. Back-to-back makes put them on a 6-0 run to pull within eight points, 44-36, and another Burns 3 later on made it a two-possession game, 47-41.
Another 3 from Burns cut the lead to 48-44 with a little over 15:00 to play. He was now 6/7 from beyond the arc and the Vols officially had a problem on their hands.
They then had another problem after Grant Williams was called for his third foul of the game with 13:00 left in the game. It was a very ill-advised charge that helped Colgate make yet another 3 and close the lead, 48-47.
The 9-1 run officially had the Vols on their heels. And this was all without Colgate’s star player in Rapolas Ivanauskas, who had been on the bench for the entire second half due to an eye issue.
Was history about to repeat itself for a second straight season? Could the Vols really lose to another double-digit seed?
But the Vols wouldn’t die easily, as Williams came through with a jumper to tie the game at 52. Bowden, silent for the first 10 minutes, finally nailed his first shot of the second half, then made a perfectly-timed steal and slammed it home to put the Vols up, 56-52 with 9:10 to go.
Tennessee maintained a two-score lead for a good bit until another Richardson 3 brought the Raiders back within two, 60-58. But Bone responded with a 3 of his own and Schofield joined in on the fun soon after, pushing Tennessee’s lead back to six, 66-60, with 3:36 left on the clock.
Bowden continued to make his presence felt, coming through a major block on Raymond that helped prevent a sure bucket and kept the score at 66-60, but Burns continued to make Tennessee’s life miserable as he made the layup off the inbound pass, any way.
The Vols finally received a chance to dish it inside to Williams and he was fouled almost instantly. Usually, he is a lock to make free throws in clutch time, but he could only make one and the Vols led just 67-62.
Burns drove inside for yet another layup to make it a one-score game, but Schofield came through with a corner 3 to push the lead back to two possessions, 70-64.
But he wasn’t done there.
After a huge Williams block on Burns, Schofield lined it up and drained another one from the corner to make it a 73-64 game with only :45 left on the clock.
It would prove to be the final nail in the coffin, as the Vols would go on to win, 77-70. They will face off against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday, March 24th. Tip-off is TBD.
Rise and shine Vol Nation, it's game day for Tennessee. The No. 2 seed Volunteers are poised to take on No. 15 seed Colgate in the South Region on Friday.
A new face will take over on West End.
After three seasons, Vanderbilt men’s basketball is going to head in a new direction. According to Jeff Goodman, Vanderbilt has fired head coach Bryce Drew.
Drew lead the Commodores to an 0-18 record in SEC play this year, finishing with a 9-23 record overall. He will finish with a 40-59 overall mark as Vandy’s head coach, making the NCAA Tournament just one time.
There was some talk that Drew would be able to get another year at Vanderbilt. After all, Drew did lose five-star recruit Darius Garland early in the season. However, a winless record in conference play along with some embarrassing efforts down the stretch forced the school’s hand.
Drew’s legacy at Vanderbilt will be left on the recruiting trail, although he wasn’t able to do anything with that talent. He signed two five-star recruits in Darius Garland and Simisola Shittu, along with highly ranked four-star players Aaron Nesmith and Saben Lee. Vanderbilt currently has two four-star prospects signed to their 2019 class.
Something to keep in mind here is that new athletics director Malcolm Turner comes from the NBA G-League. He’s likely got plenty of contacts from that world, giving Vanderbilt a potentially unique channel to choose their next coach from.
The first hurdle for the Vols.
The regular season is done. The SEC Tournament is done. It’s time for the big dance.
The Tennessee Volunteers earned a No. 2 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, drawing No. 15 seed Colgate as their first round opponent. The Patriot League champs enter today as big underdogs, but they’ve got a trio of players that can fill it up on the offensive end.
The winner will get the Cincinnati-Iowa winner — a 7-10 matchup that will be played in the morning session in Columbus.
Location: Columbus, Ohio
TV Channel: CBS
Tip-off time: 2:45 p.m. ET
Streaming: March Madness Live
Odds: Tennessee -17.5
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What you need to know for Friday.
After a fairly pedestrian start to the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, history tells us Friday might just get wild. Let’s just hope the Tennessee Volunteers stay out of the madness.
Friday will begin with Cincinnati vs. Iowa. The winner will advance to play the winner of Tennessee-Colgate, so we’ll be paying close attention to that one. Tennessee will take the floor shortly after that game ends in Columbus.
Below is the full schedule for Friday, along with commentators and TV channels for each game.
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- Tennessee Vols Football defensive back arrested in Miami Rocky Top Talk
- Vols DB arrested after allegedly punching officer ESPN
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- Tennessee DB Kenneth George Jr. arrested, facing battery of law enforcement officer charge Saturday Down South
- View full coverage on Google News
The Tennessee Volunteers have paused practice for spring break, but unfortunately we still have some news out of the football program. Kenneth George Jr.— a ...
Here’s what we know.
The Tennessee Volunteers have paused practice for spring break, but unfortunately we still have some news out of the football program.
Kenneth George Jr, a redshirt junior defensive back, was arrested in Miami early on Thursday morning. He is accused of punching a Miami police officer. George was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center this morning. He faces charges for battery, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Police said George was cursing at one of the officers and ignoring his commands. As the officer tried to get him out of the street, George punched him and knocked the police radio out of his hands, the report said.
George then ran away before other officers caught up with him near Espanola Way and Washington Avenue, the report said.
According to the report, once in custody, George said, “He hit me first. Why can’t I hit him back?”
Tennessee spokesman Zach Stipe released the following statement.
“We are aware of the situation and are gathering facts as the appropriate processes run their course.”
George joined the Vols as a part of the 2018 recruiting class after a couple of years playing in the JUCO ranks. He was one of the final adds to Jeremy Pruitt’s initial class at Tennessee, checking in as a three-star prospect.
A University of Tennessee football player is accused of punching a Miami Beach police officer and then running from officers who tried to take him into custody.
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