8. Tennessee Volunteers - 16-5 (6-2 SEC)
At the beginning of the season, a home game with South Carolina on paper looked to be one of the easier games on the schedule. Yet the Gamecocks have turned into one of the bigger surprises in all of NCAA Basketball and showed that on Tuesday against the Vols.
Whether they were looking ahead to the top-10 matchup with Kentucky or whatever, Tennesseee ended up dropping the home game with the Gamecocks, 63-59. Dalton Knecht ended up having a massive game, scoring a game-high 31 points. But no one else stepped up, with Santiago Vescovi the only other double-digit scorer for them with 10 points.
The good news for Tennessee and its offense was that they took on currently, one of the worst power conference defenses in NCAA Basketball. The Vols were able to score from start to finish, getting a 103-92 road win. Josiah-Jordan James and Zakai Zeigler each had 26 points, with all five starters getting into double figures.
It was easily the best offensive performance of the season for the Vols and they didn’t even need Knecht to go off. They’ll look to continue the positive momentum, with games against LSU and Texas A&M coming up.