After Duke’s stunning loss today at the hands of Mercer, the Blue Devils’s second loss in the first round in the past three seasons, many people have been either rejoicing, burning brackets, or some combination of the two.
Tennessee fans, however, have been having a fantastic start to March Madness. After playing the best team in the nation, Florida, close in the SEC Tournament, the Volunteers have been surging and their offense has been clicking. The Vols were going into today’s game against six-seed UMass fresh off of a win against Iowa in the First Four.
Despite the fact that Tennessee won this game as an eleven seed, it’s not right to call it an upset. I think that no matter who had won the Iowa/Tennessee game, they would have beaten the Minutemen. That’s not a shot at UMass, but their team is really based around guard Chaz Williams. He only scored twelve points in today’s game, which was not what UMass would have needed to beat Tennessee.
On the other hand, Tennessee’s offense was very potent today, ultimately beating down UMass and winning by a score of 86-67. The guys from Knoxville had a great shooting day, transcending their normal offensive stats. Normally averaging a 45% field goal percentage, the Vols shot nearly 54% percent today, as well as having two players, Jarnell Stokes and Jordan McRae, score 26 and 21 points, respectively. Stokes also had 14 rebounds, earning the double-double.
Tennessee will advance to take on Mercer on Sunday. In case you live off the grid (in which case you wouldn’t be reading this), the Bears pulled off the stunning upset of Duke earlier today.