Vols to open up with UTEP in Battle 4 Atlantis

(UNDATED) -- The 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament bracket was announced Monday. The Volunteers will play three tournament games on three consecutive days, starting with an opening-round clash against UTEP on Nov. 28 at 9:30 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network).

The Miners return three starters and seven lettermen from last year’s 18-14 squad that finished third in Conference USA with a 10-6 league mark. UTEP also introduces a recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American Isaac Hamilton.

The winner of the Tennessee-UTEP game will face the victor of the first-round game between Xavier and Iowa.

The opposite side of the 2013 Battle for Atlantis bracket features first-day matchups between Villanova-Southern California and Kansas-Wake Forest.

The Volunteers return national honors candidates in senior wing Jordan McRae and the frontcourt tandem of Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes. Other returning starters include guards Josh Richardson and Armani Moore. An experienced bench will be bolstered by five newcomers. In head coach Cuonzo Martin’s third season on Rocky Top, Tennessee looks to be among the teams vying for a spot in the various preseason top-25 polls.

Tennessee has faced UTEP just once previously on the hardwood, with the Miners notching a 77-57 victory Dec. 28, 1962, in El Paso, Texas.

Fans are encouraged to visit http://bit.ly/VolsAtlantisTravel for Tennessee-specific travel packages. For information on Atlantis Resort, visit www.Atlantis.com.

Atlantis offers a resort experience in mythical proportions amidst the largest marine habitat in the world. Guests can explore the ruins of Atlantis in The Dig, challenge the Mayan Temple and Aquaventure’s water slides, enjoy 11 swimming areas, interact with live dolphins at Dolphin Cay and discover endless action in the Atlantis Casino.

Resort facilities include a state-of-the-art kids club, Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA), a 30,000-square-foot flagship Mandara Spa, a sports center, a state-of-the-art rock climbing facility, a world-class marina, haute couture shopping, and more than 20 restaurants, bars and lounges.

Starting Nov. 28, AXS TV will air coverage of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at 1 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET, while NBC Sports Network will broadcast the daily 7 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET games. AXS TV is available nationally on DIRECTV (channel 306), Dish (channel 131), AT&T U-Verse (channel 1106), Verizon FiOS (channel 569) as well as Charter, Comcast Xfinity, Insight, Suddenlink and other TV providers.

The Vols are scheduled to travel to Paradise Island on Nov. 26, with a return flight set for Dec. 1.

Interestingly, the Lady Vols basketball team also is spending Thanksgiving in the Bahamas (but on a different island). The women’s team is playing in the Junkanoo Jam at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Nov. 28-29. They will be joined in the eight-team field by Florida, Illinois State, Kansas State, Oregon State, Penn State, SMU and Virginia.

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