Tennessee Vols A Five Seed With Potential To Make A 2021 March Madness Run

Posted on March 14, 2021 - Last Updated on March 15, 2021

March Madness is underway, and the Tennessee Vols’ first opponent has been announced.

The No. 5-seeded Tennessee Vols (18-8) face off against No. 12-seeded Oregon State (17-12) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA tournament odds predict the Vols will soon be advancing to the second round.

Vols basketball ousted in semis of SEC tournament

Odds at the beginning of the season predicted an SEC Tournament win from the Vols this past weekend.

The team got off to a strong start during quarterfinals, where they faced off against the Florida Gators. After winning 78-66, Tennessee moved onto the Game 10 semifinals, ultimately falling short to the sixth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

Going into the 16-minute mark of the second half, the Vols were up 48-33. After 11 second-half turnovers, the game quickly shifted tides, resulting in a 73-68 loss.

After suffering a late-game defeat, the Vols were knocked out of the SEC running.

A win here would have allowed them to advance to Sunday’s SEC Tournament Championship game and given them a clear shot at advancing to March Madness play.

Instead, Tennessee had to wait until Selection Sunday for the final verdict.

Selection Sunday pits the Vols against Oregon State

The majority of bracket predictions projected Tennessee as a No. 5 seed, and that’s precisely where they landed.

Overall, the Vols rank as the No. 19 seed in this year’s 68-team bracket.

Early DraftKings odds list Tennessee as a 7.5-point favorite in the matchup, situating the game’s over/under at 131.5.

Below are the current odds for the game at local Tennessee sportsbooks. Click any of the odds to be taken to the sportsbook to place your bet.


In the event of a first-round win, Tennessee will then take on either No. 3 Oklahoma State (20-8) or No. 14 Liberty (23-5) during the second round.

These two rounds of tournament play take place Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis. The exact location has not been announced yet.

Tennessee Vols March Madness history

This mark’s Tennessee’s third NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Rick Barnes. The Vols’ first two appearances under the coach were in 2018 and 2019.

In 2018, Tennessee entered the Tournament as a No. 3 seed before losing to Loyola-Chicago during the second round.

In 2019, the No. 2-seeded Vols made it to the Sweet Sixteen before bowing out to Perdue in overtime.

Tennessee has only been a No. 5 seed one other time in program history – in 2007, they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before being defeated by No. 1-seed Ohio State.

The team’s sole Elite Eight appearance took place in 2010 when they entered as a No. 6-seeded team.

If history has any say, the Vols could be climbing the brackets for another couple of weeks.

Photo by AP
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Alec Cunningham

As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. She then returned to her love of written word in 2000 after working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer. As a journalist, she's covered a variety of topics and currently specializes in Tennessee online sports betting and Virginia casino news. She served as a panelist at this year's All American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry.

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