March 14, 2013
Huge match-up awaits Vols on Friday
NASHVILLE -- Tennessee (20-11, 11-7) came to Nashville feeling like it still needed to add some accomplishments to its NCAA resume´. On Thursday, the Vols took care of step one, getting by Mississippi State 69-53 to earn a spot in Friday's quarterfinals.
That match-up, with No. 3 seed Alabama, has the potential to either burst someone's bubble or provide the final piece of the puzzle for a successful NCAA tourney bid.
More than a few pundits are calling it an 'elimination game.' Alabama--at least in the eyes of most--has more work to do than the Vols to earn a bid, but the Crimson Tide is firmly in the discussion and would significantly increase their standing with a win over Tennessee.
Conversely, it's hard to think that the Vols' chances wouldn't be severely, if not fatally, damaged with a loss to one of their bubble brothers.
The Vols have gotten so accustomed to dealing with the constant speculation over their NCAA chances that dealing with a new angle, like playing an 'elimination game,' is child's play by this point.
"I hear about that, but I don't think that would be fair to look at that way, for either team. Our goal is to win the tournament so we can just throw those talks out the window," Jarnell Stokes said.
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