KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A sixth straight NCAA tournament bid
would mean as much to Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl as the run the
Volunteers made last season to the tournament's regional finals.
The problem is, the Vols may not have done enough recently to
convince the NCAA selection committee they deserve a trip to the
NCAA tournament this season.
Tennessee is 36th in RPI and has played one of toughest
schedules in the nation, with wins over Pittsburgh and Villanova.
But the Vols (18-13, 8-8 Southeastern Conference) have a few bad
losses mixed in and have dropped six of their last nine, including
Sunday's 64-58 loss at home to No. 15 Kentucky. That loss dropped
Tennessee to fifth in the SEC East with a SEC tournament
first-round meeting with Arkansas scheduled for Thursday night.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)