New Orleans, LA--(WVLT-TV), It was a nail biter for the Big Orange in the Big Easy Friday night, but UT's loss to Ole Miss in the SEC Tourney quarterfinals all but puts the nail in Tennessee's NCAA Tournament hopes.
Not even a miracle three by Skylar McBee could help the Vols survive and advance. That little taste of March Madness could not erase the madness that was a poor shooting night for the Volunteers. Tennessee found itself frustrated much of the night especially beyond the arc. The Vols would up shooting 28 percent from the field. That usually won't cut it during a regular season game, let alone come Tournament time.
Then, UT's usually stout interior defense found itself unable to
stop Mississippi's penetration into the lane. The Rebels repeatedly found their way to the rim making clutch shot after clutch shot, especially during an extra period, in which the Vols found themselves playing minus big man Jeronne Maymon.
Foul trouble was a problem for Tennessee with Maymon and Jarnell Stokes in trouble much of the night.
What's been a remarkable late season story took a bit of a hit in the Big Easy and while the players were understandably down in the locker room afterwards, they are encouraged by the thought of being able to play on this post season while continuing to build this porgram in the image of head coach Cuonzo Martin.