This shouldn’t be a surprise. Tennessee might be sitting in the Sweet 16 as a No. 11 seed, but truth be told, that number never represented the Volunteers’ true ability.
Heading into the tournament, our statistical model pegged the Vols as the nation’s 22nd-best team. KenPom.com said Tennessee ranked 11th nationally. So when the Vols knocked off a sixth-seeded UMass squad that was as overseeded as they were underseeded and followed that up by dispatching Mercer, they weren’t shocking the world. They were playing to form.
Now, as the Vols prepare to face Michigan on Friday night, it’s evident beyond the computers that Tennessee is for real. With one Giant already brought low, can Tennessee add another notch to its belt?