After Tennessee basketball’s loss to South Carolina, the Vols’ chances of making the NCAA Tournament are slim, but not none.
At some point in your life, you might have heard the term “slim to none” and that almost perfectly describes Tennessee basketball’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament.
I wouldn’t say their chances of making the tournament is zero yet, but we’re on that line where if the Vols continue to struggle and lose to non-ranked opponents where one more loss and a poor showing in the SEC tournament could very well eliminate the Vols’ postseason chances.
Sitting at 14-11, Tennessee has six games remaining in its season. In those final six games, three of Tennessee’s six opponents are ranked. The Vols have Kentucky once and Auburn twice remaining on the schedule.
Usually, if a team like Tennessee can get 20 wins, then that, along with a decent conference tournament performance is good enough to get into the NCAA Tournament. At 14 wins, it’s very unlikely the Vols hit that 20-win mark as they would need to win out.
Since winning out isn’t a realistic option, the Vols will need to create some magic in the final few weeks of the season.
Not only will Tennessee need to beat Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Florida, the three unranked opponents, but the Vols will also need to win at least one of the games against Auburn and Kentucky.
Does that happen? Probably not, but it’s not impossible. If the Vols were to do that somehow, then they will need a really good performance in the SEC Tournament.
We knew that the 2019-20 season would be a rebuild season, but a lot of people still expected Tennessee to make the tournament. If the Vols don’t make the tournament, then it will definitely be a disappointing season, and Rick Barnes will have to prove himself in a big way next season.
The path is currently a rocky one if the Vols want to sneak their way into the NCAA Tournament, but the path isn’t closed off yet.