Selection Sunday: Tennessee Vols earn No. 3 seed in NCAA Tournament

Vols know UK will be “hungry to beat us”

Tennessee Basketball: Offensive continuity leads Vols rush to SEC Championship game

Next for Kentucky: After the game, the Wildcats fly home to learn their NCAA Tournament destination.

The Tennessee Volunteers survived late game heroics by Mississippi State guard Lamar Peters and then watched a potential game winning Bulldogs three go long before they could claim a 62-59 win in Friday night's SEC Tournament quarterfinals.

In the Razorbacks' last contest, they defeated the No. 23 Florida Gators, 80-72. The Wildcats have now won six of their last seven, covering the spread in all six wins.

Even with the disappointment of not being able to break a 39-year drought, the Vols have plenty left on their plate as they prepare for their first NCAA Tournament trip in three years.

Kentucky's starting lineup featured Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Nick Richards for the 14th time this season.

Arkansas ranks 11th in steals allowed per game (4.7) while Tennessee ranks 80th (5.7). "That will be a fun game". It's Tennessee's first appearance in the SEC semifinals since 2014. Kentucky has four guys scoring double digits per game. "We set out to do something special this year and we had an opportunity, and we couldn't take advantage of it". Kentucky freshmen Wenynen Gabriel and the Wildcats know the feeling.

Want more SEC basketball discussion? "I mean, now you can lose a game".

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"We're a team that, if we make 3s like that, that's what we can do to people", Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

As Weatherspoon was loaded onto a stretcher, players from both Mississippi State and Tennessee came over to wish him well. "Now let's just see what happens going forward". That's what you have to understand. That's why we are so unsafe and the way we're playing defense right now is unbelievable. "Then we had a couple of ill-advised possessions on the offensive end". Head coach Rick Barnes picked up SEC Coach of the Year and is in the running for the national award as well. "They are an old-fashioned team in that they don't have a lot of great athletes, but they are a really good team". "I've been watching them". It looks like they've really made a commitment to really play big, strong basketball inside.

As always, my predictions are based on team analysis and who I think will win.

As fast as the Vols got out of the block when they went on to beat Arkansas Saturday and earn a chance to capture the championship, the opposite happened against Kentucky.

Although in the finale, Tennessee isn't satisfied.

Tennessee's Jordan Bone said on Saturday that "we're trying to flawless, so we just have to do that and get ready for a team that's hungry to beat us". "The biggest thing is we try to go out to every game with that mindset, like we're trying to ideal our standard".

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