The Tennessee Lady Vols are still in bracketology experts’ NCAA Tournaments. However, the women’s basketball Volunteers have a wide range of low seeds.
After a six-game losing streak, the Tennessee Lady Vols have been able to take advantage of the easy part of their schedule to win three straight. Now, they’re back to 15-7 overall and have improved to 4-5 in the conference.
But with only one of those three wins, the LSU Tigers, being a quality win of any sort, they have actually been dropping in the RPI. At this point, Holly Warlick’s team is outside of the top 60. That’s what happens when you play such lowly ranked teams like the Florida Gators and Vanderbilt Commodores to get your rankings back up.
Still, bracketology experts have the Lady Vols in the NCAA Tournament. The question is where they will be seeded, as the range is somewhere from a middle of the pack team to an underdog team. But none are great.
Their highest seed is a No. 8 seed. College Sports Madness has them there traveling to Louisville in the first round of the tournament. The Cardinals would be in that very bracket as the No. 1 seed taking on Northern Colorado, while the Lady Vols would take on the Iowa State Cyclone.
Charlie Creme of ESPN has gone the opposite direction, though. He has the Tennessee Lady Vols in the same bracket with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as the No. 1 seed. But they would avoid Notre Dame in the first weekend, instead traveling to College Park as the No. 11 seed. There they would face the No. 6 seed Florida State Seminoles in the first round, with the winner of that game facing the winner of No. 14 seed Little Rock and the No. 3 seed Maryland Terrapins, who are hosting the weekend.
Finally, there’s fellow FanSided site High-Post Hoops. They’ve got the Lady Vols as a No. 10 seed playing in the bracket where the Oregon Ducks are the No. 1 seed. But they would avoid Oregon in the first weekend, instead traveling to Raleigh, where the N.C. State Wolfpack would be playing host as a No. 2 seed. N.C. State would face Little Rock, the No. 15 seed, while Tennessee would face the Cal Golden Bears, a No. 7 seed.
UT’s real tests are about to come again. With a rare week off in the middle of the season, UT will travel to Starkville Sunday to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who are 21-1 overall and 9-0 in the SEC.
After that, they host the Auburn Tigers, then they visit the Missouri Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies before coming back home to face the South Carolina Gamecocks. That’s five straight top 60 RPI teams, four top 40 RPI teams in five games, and three top 20 RPI teams. They all come before closing out the year at home against Vanderbilt again and then visiting the Ole Miss Rebels.
Simply put, to maintain their status inside the NCAA Tournament, the Tennessee Lady Vols need to win a few of those games in that five-game stretch. Going 3-2 would be great, but getting two wins would likely be enough. RPI projections right now have them finishing 19-10 and 8-8 in the conference for a No. 42 ranking, putting them squarely on the bubble. It’s about time to see if they can secure a spot back in the tournament.