The Tennessee Lady Vols’ loss to the Missouri Tigers created a range of seeding possibilities in this week’s women’s basketball Volunteers’ bracketology.
Two games into conference play, the Tennessee Lady Vols are 1-1 in the SEC and 12-2 overall after a tough home loss to the Missouri Tigers on Sunday. An early season loss to the Stanford Cardinal when they were red-hot shooting the ball was nothing to be ashamed of.
However, with this loss to Mizzou, questions are growing about Holly Warlick’s team once again. The good news is the game by itself dramatically improved their strength of schedule. But it’s still only No. 49 in the nation, and while they have three Top 50 RPI wins, two of which are on the road, they don’t have any Top 30 RPI wins.
All of this has resulted in the Tennessee Lady Vols being ranked No. 23 in the RPI while being ranked No. 13 in both polls. So where does that leave them when it comes to seeding in the Women’s NCAA Tournament?
Well, it’s all over. Charlie Creme of ESPN has them as a No. 4 seed in the Greensboro region. That would give them the first weekend in Knoxville at least. And Creme has them playing Fordham in the first round with the No. 5 seed Arizona Wildcats facing the No. 12 seed Penn Quakers in that first round bracket. The Louisville Cardinals, Stanford Cardinal and Iowa State Cyclones would be the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in that overall bracket.
Meanwhile, College Sports Madness has the Lady Vols as high as a No. 3 seed in a bracket with the Louisville Cardinals as a No. 2 seed and the Oregon Ducks as a No. 1 seed. In that scenario, UT would once again play the first round in Knoxville, hosting UC Davis. On the other side of that bracket would be the No. 6 seed Oregon State Beavers facing the the No. 11 seed Purdue Boilermakers.
But while those two brackets have a set of first round games on Rocky Top, fellow FanSided site High-Post Hoops is not as kind to the Lady Vols. They would be the No. 5 seed in the Greensboro Region and have to travel to Berkeley, Calif., where the Cal Golden Bears would be hosting the first round as the No. 4 seed. In that one, UT would face Northeastern in the first round while Cal would face No. 13 seed Quinnipiac. This bracket has Notre Dame Fighting Irish as the No. 1 seed in that region with the Baylor Bears as the No. 2 seed and the Florida State Seminoles as the No. 3 seed.
So, simply put, the Tennessee Lady Vols could range from a No. 3 seed to not even hosting a first round set of games in the NCAA Tournament right now. They just have a lot more to prove. With the No. 16 ranked Kentucky Wildcats coming to town on Thursday, they’ll have another chance to finally get a statement win. Given where things are trending, that’s a necessary game for them as well.