Posted on Friday 29 February 2008
As the weekend rolls around, and the #1 ranking more than likely drifts out the window, the BasketVols are going to face a tough test on Sunday. The test doesn’t come only from the Kentucky Wildcats, but also from facing off against themselves and their focus for the rest of the season.
The loss to Vanderbilt was a crushing blow to the manhood of Tennessee, as well as to the sanctity of normal college basketball arenas (apparently plans are already in the works to move the football sidelines to behind the endzones for next year), but focus is now needed to be able to regroup, and otherwise move on to bigger and better things.
Kentucky rolls into town on Sunday, and Florida and South Carolina loom before the start of the SEC Tournament. If the BasketVols can have a strong showing in the final few games as well as a deep run, perhaps a victory in the SEC Tourney, the #1 seed for the NCAA tournament should be locked up. Isn’t it weird how just 3-4 years ago, making it to the tournament was the goal? My how things change.
The Vols, much like the Commodores on Tuesday, will hopefully be looking to exact revenge upon a team that embarrassed them earlier in the season. Tennessee is thus far undefeated at home for the season, and it will take a solid effort to beat Kentucky. What else would a coach say here? The game against Kentucky is now the most important game of the season. You know, it actually kind of is, because it will determine to what extent the Vols slide in the polls on Monday.
But realistically, the rest of the games on the schedule only have a bearing on seeding in the tournament. Of course, this is important as well, but this year, the idea is NOT to lose to some no-name team in the second round with a high seed, or to lose a 20 point lead to a team that can’t hang with the SEC (ahem, Ohio State).
This is the part of the season that people point to when they say that college football is better than college basketball, because the games don’t really matter, but in reality, it’s the calm before the storm of college basketball debauchery the likes of which would make the porn industry blush. If football had a playoff? Well, for at least a month out of the year, football would be my fourth visit on the information superhighway (the first three? um, scholastic research). Bring it on.
Ohio State sucks.
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