FILE - This Nov. 17, 2010, file photo shows Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl yelling to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri State, in Knoxville, Tenn. Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has suspended Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl for the Volunteers' first eight conference games as punishment for violating NCAA rules and misleading investigators. Slive sent a letter Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, that informed Pearl he is prohibited from participating in practices, meetings and any activities related to games between Jan. 8 and Feb. 5. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)
There's been much talk and rightfully so about questionable timing on Mike Hamilton's part this week. Well the timing couldn't be better on Friday for a Tennessee win, especially for Hamilton's sake. Spring break 2011 will forever be perceived as the week relations broke down between Hamilton and his embattled head coach Bruce Pearl, who stood to take all the heat following a possible Tennessee loss to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Now, should Tennessee lose, it'll be perceived as Hamilton's fault for creating a distraction too deep to dig out from. Is the overall situation surrounding coach Pearl too damaged to repair? Well, not only could a win or two help Hamilton, but it certainly couldn't hurt Bruce Pearl's cause. There's an old saying in sports that winning cures all wounds, but are the ones at Tennessee too deep to mend? I imagine we'll know soon enough.
While no decision has been made of yet regarding coach Pearl's future and there's no guarantee that Friday's game could be his last at UT, there's a better than good chance it'll be the last time we see Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris in Orange and White. The two former McDonald All Americans are expected to forego their remaining eligibility and take their best shot at the NBA next season. It's interesting that their best shots in Charlotte on Friday could go a long way in helping a coach and program they more than likely won't be a part of next season!
It's the Vols and Wolverines at 12:40 Friday on Tru-TV, winner advances to more than likely face #1 seed Duke in third round play on Sunday.