Vols look to bolster their NCAA hopes in the SEC tournament

Atlanta, GA (WVLT-TV / AP) , As soon as the regular season was over, Mark Fox spent some time going over his bracket. The Georgia coach isn't the only one.

Alabama and Tennessee also come into the Southeastern Conference tournament looking to bolster their NCAA hopes. Not to confuse sports, but the next four days at the Georgia Dome could probably be called the Bubble Bowl.

Only three SEC teams seem assured of NCAA bids, no matter what they do in Atlanta: No. 12 Florida, No. 15 Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

Beyond that, it's all guesswork. Tennessee and Georgia have solid RPI rankings, but not high enough to feel totally comfortable. Alabama won the SEC West with a gaudy 12-4 mark, but the Crimson Tide has a dismal RPI and some ugly losses early in the year.

Coach Bruce Pearl talks about how the Vols road record is key going into Thursday's nights battle with the Hogs. Pearl "I think its an accomplishment, we have got great recognition of being a great road team its speaks to the toughness of this team."

Son and Vol senior Stephen Pearl said, "it's like a new season, everyone starts over, it's one and done and you've got to pretty much play for your lives, I'm really excited about it."

Fellow senior and UT guard Josh Bone said, "It's a new season and everybody's record is 0-0. The team with the most wins is going to come out of here with a championship, we're looking for a long process and a lot of games and just get into one by one."


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