Thursday's Game can be seen at 9:57p edt on CBS & Volunteer TV.
UT is making its fifth Sweet 16 appearance
Tennessee has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year and will face third-seeded Louisville at approximately 9:57 p.m. EDT Thursday, March 24, at Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C. The winner will advance to meet either No. 4 Washington State or No. 1 North Carolina in the Region Finals Saturday, March 29, in Charlotte.
UT advanced to the regional semifinals with a 72-57 victory over No. 15 American Friday, March 21, and then a 76-71 overtime win over No. 7 Butler Sunday, March 23.
Tennessee is making its fifth appearance in the Sweet 16 and its second in as many years. The Vols are 0-4 in regional semifinal games, including an 85-84 loss to Ohio State in 2007.
The Vols are making their 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including their third in a row. Tennessee is 13-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Bruce Pearl is leading his 14th team to the NCAA Tournament in 16 seasons as a head coach. Pearl owns a 23-12 career record in the tournament, including a 5-2 mark in three appearances at Tennessee.
UT’s No. 2 seeding ties for the highest in school history. Tennessee also received a No. 2 seed in 2006.
Lofton needs seven 3-pointers to pass St. Peter’s Keydren Clark (435 finishing in 2006) for second on the NCAA’s all-time 3-pointers list. Lofton has made 429 career 3-pointers, including a school record 116 triples this season.
Chris Lofton’s 115 career points in the NCAA Tournament rank second in UT history. Dale Ellis (1980-83) holds the school record with 116 in eight games. JaJuan Smith ranks fourth in school history with 94 points in the NCAA Tournament.
Tyler Smith and JaJuan Smith each logged 37 minutes of action against Butler (3/23/08). That is the most minutes played by a Vol this season.
Chris Lofton did not reach double figure scoring in either of Tennessee’s first two NCAA Tournament games. The Vols are 8-0 in each of the games where he has not reached double-figure scoring.
JaJuan Smith is averaging 17.8 points over his last five games. He is shooting 55.1 percent (38-of-69) from the field and 44.2 percent (19-of-43) from 3-point range during that stretch.
Bruce Pearl coached his 500th career game against American (3/21/08) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
UT’s 625 assists this season are the most in school history, breaking the school record of 546 (in 35 games) set in 2006-07.
UT’s schedule is ranked as the most difficult in the nation by kenpom.com.
Tennessee’s 31 wins this season are the most in school history.
UT’s 14-2 league record earned the school its ninth regular season SEC title. It is UT’s first conference crown since 1999-2000 and the first outright (no ties) title since 1966-67. The Vols won their second SEC Eastern Division championship in the last three seasons and their fourth overall.
Tennessee’s 14 SEC wins are the most since the league went to divisional play in 1991-92. It is the most UT has ever had in a 16-game conference schedule.
For the first time since SEC divisional play started in 1991-92, UT posted a 6-0 record against the West.
Bruce Pearl’s 77 wins in his first three years at Tennessee are the most by a Tennessee coach in his first three seasons in Knoxville.
UT has won 15 games away from home this season (15-4).
Tennessee has outrebounded 13 of its last 17 opponents and owns a +3.9 rebounding advantage during those games. The Vols are averaging 14.0 offensive rebounds during the stretch.
Only six Vols have fouled out of Tennessee’s first 35 games despite having a player record their fourth foul 58 times.
Tennessee is averaging 21.5 points per game off turnovers this season (752 points in 35 games).
Tennessee’s 82.5 points per game are leading the SEC for the third consecutive year. Pearl’s teams have led their league in scoring 15 of his 16 years as a head coach.
Tennessee is the only team in the SEC that does not have a player ranked among the league’s top 30 in minutes played. UT has eight players averaging at least 14 minutes per game.
Tennessee has forced an average of 18.2 turnovers off an SEC-best 9.2 steals per game this year.
UT leads the SEC with 17.9 assists per game.
Six different players have led the Vols in scoring this season.
UT’s home attendance has grown for the third consecutive year. The Vols are averaging 20,267 fans per game, up from 19,661 last season.
Tennessee is 45-2 at Thompson-Boling Arena since the start of the 2005-06 season.
UT has a 32-game homecourt winning streak. The Vols’ last home loss was a 78-80 decision to Kentucky in the final home game of the 2005-06 season.
The Vols are 23-0 in non-conference home games under Bruce Pearl.
Bruce Pearl is 16-7 against ranked teams while at Tennessee.
The Vols have made at least one 3-pointer in 354 consecutive games.
Under Bruce Pearl, UT is 70-6 when leading or tied with five minutes left in the game.
UT is 50-5 when scoring 80 or more points under the direction of Bruce Pearl.
Tennessee has an all-time record of 1,422-907-2 in its 99th season of basketball.
UT’s 634 regular season SEC victories rank third all-time in the SEC. Only Kentucky and Alabama have won more league games.
Tennessee is 245-86 in its 21st season in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols have winning home records in 18 of their 20 seasons in the facility.
Tennessee is the only Division I school ever to rank in the top five nationally in attendance for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball in the same season. The Vols turned the trick for the fourth time in 2006-07.
UT In The NCAA Tournament--
The Vols are making their 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament ... It is their third straight appearance and the seventh in the last 11 years ... Tennessee has a 13-16 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament.
UT’s No. 2 seeding ties for the highest in school history. The Vols were also a No. 2 seed in 2006.
Tennessee is playing a No. 3 seed for the first time in school history.
Bruce Pearl In The NCAA Tournament--
Bruce Pearl has led a team to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time in 16 years as a head coach ... Pearl owns a 23-12 career record in the NCAA Tournament ... He led Southern Indiana to a 16-8 NCAA Tournament record that included an NCAA Division II national championship in 1995 and a runner-up finish in 1994 ... He has a 7-4 record in NCAA Division I Tournaments ... Pearl has led his team to the round of 16 in three of the last four years ... In 2005 he directed UW-Milwaukee to the Sweet 16 and repeated the feat at Tennessee in 2007 and 2008.
Vols In Charlotte--
Tennessee has a 5-7 all-time record when playing in Charlotte ... Four of the Vols’ games in Charlotte have been in NCAA Tournament action ... UT is 2-2 in NCAA Tournament games in Charlotte ... Tennessee has played in the state of North Carolina for six NCAA Tournaments ... The Vols have also appeared in Greensboro (1980, 1989 and 2006) where they are 2-3.
UT In The Sweet 16--
The Vols are making their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance ... It is the fifth time Tennessee has advanced to the Regional Semifinals ... The Vols have never advanced past the Regional Semifinals.
2007: Tennessee advanced to the regional semifinal with wins over Long Beach State (121-86) and Virginia (77-74) before bowing to eventual national runner-up Ohio State in the South Regional Semifinal.
2000: UT advanced to the round of 16 with wins over Louisiana-Lafayette (63-58) and Connecticut (65-51) before falling to North Carolina (74-69) in the South Regional Semifinal.
1981: The Vols received a first round bye and then defeated VCU (58-56 in overtime) before top-seeded Virginia ended their run with a 62-48 win.
1967: UT received a first round bye and then fell to Dayton 69-67 in overtime in the 23-team tournament.
Looking At Louisville--
The third seed in the East region, Louisville has advanced to the Regional Seminfinals with a 79-61 win over Boise State and a 78-48 victory over Oklahoma ... The Cardinals are 26-8 on the season and finished tied for second in the Big East Conference with a 14-4 league record ... Senior forward/center David Padgett was a first team all-conference selection while junior forward Terrence Williams was a second team pick ... The Cardinals are making their 16th apperance in the Sweet 16 ... After starting the season with a 15-6 record, Louisville has won 11 of its last 13 games.
The Louisville Series--
Louisville leads the all-time series with Tennessee 11-7 ... The Cardinals have won the last four meetings, including an 85-62 victory Jan. 22, 2005 in Louisville ... Three of the last four meetings have been decided by three points or less ... The series was revived during the 2001-02 season with a four-game home-and-home deal that concluded in 2005 ... It was the first time the two teams had met since a 100-84 Tennessee win on March 29, 1985 in the consolation game of the National Invitation Tournament in New York City ... The series is tied 5-5 when it is played in Louisville ... The Cardinals lead the series when it is played in Knoxville 5-1 ... It is tied 1-1 on neutral sites ... The series dates back to Feb. 19, 1913 when Tennessee took a 24-16 win in Louisville.
UT - UL In The NCAA Tournament--
This is the second time the Vols and Cards have met in the NCAA Tournament ... Louisville took a 70-57 win in the second round of the 1983 Mideast Region in Evansville, Ind. ... Michael Brooks led UT with 18 points while Dale Ellis added 13 ... Milt Wagner and Lancaster Gordon each had 18 points for a Louisville team that advanced to the Final Four.
Recent Meetings Between UT and UL Have Produced Classics--
Dec. 20, 2001 — Louisville hit three 3-pointers in the last 32 seconds to overcome a six-point UT lead to take a 73-72 victory. Reece Gaines banked in a 3-pointer with 36 seconds to cut the Tennessee lead to 70-67. Louisville’s Erik Brown then stole the inbounds pass and found Bryant Northern open for a 3-pointer to tie the game. Marcus Haislip put the Vols back on top with a lay-in to make the score 72-70 with six seconds left in the game. Louisville scrambled to the other end of the floor without calling a timeout and Gaines hit another trey to give the Cards a 73-72 led with 1.8 seconds left.
Jan. 25, 2003 — Louisville overcame an 11-point Tennessee lead in the second half to escape Knoxville with a 72-69 win. Reece Gaines led the Cardinals with a game-high 22 points and dished out the game winning assist when he hit Kendall Dartez for a short jumper that gave the Cardinals the lead for good with 54 seconds left.
Jan. 25, 2004 — Scooter McFadgon sank a trey with 4.1 seconds to go to cut Louisville’s lead to 64-62. Francisco Garcia then appeared to step out of bounds on the inbound play but it was ruled that he was fouled first and he hit one free throw to make the final margin 65-62 in Knoxville.
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information