Tennessee Basketball: Wrong time to start losing

Tennessee Basketball starts downfall and drops three games this month with two to go before the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

It’s fair to say that there’s never a good time to start losing, but there are bad times to start losing. Tennessee basketball is in the midst of one of those bad times right now.

The Vols aren’t bad; they’re 15-6 with an opportunity to finish with 17 regular-season wins. That’s nothing to scoff at, but since we moved into the month of February, the Vols have been struggling to find the win column consistently.

The Vols were 12-3 coming into February and so far have a less-than-impressive record of 3-3 this month. Losses to Ole Miss, LSU, and Kentucky are three losses that could’ve been wins, but the Vols didn’t show up for those three games.

If there’s a time I’d want to watch Tennessee lose on the basketball court, it’s any game before February. That’s because February is the second-most important month in college basketball, and the most important month is March, so a bad month in February doesn’t give high hopes for March.

I’m not saying that Tennessee won’t do anything in the SEC or NCAA tournament, but the time to get hot is now, and the Vols have been anything but hot. This basketball team has high expectations among the fan base, so they’re going to have to show up come tournament time, regardless of how the final two regular-season games go.

I don’t have any doubt that Tennessee will show up, at least for the SEC tournament. Rick Barnes usually has his guys ready to go when the SEC tournament comes around; whether they win the tournament or not, they’re at least competing for a chance to go to the championship game.

If the Vols can get hot in the SEC tournament, we could see an NCAA tournament run coming our way.

The inconsistency this month worries me that the inconsistencies will carry over to the tournament, but I’m not losing ultimate confidence that Barnes can and will get the team on the right track for both tournaments.