The Tennessee Lady Vols are slightly on the rise in Jan. 29, 2020 bracketology projections after the women’s basketball Volunteers split last week’s games.
Even after losing by 15 to the UConn Huskies, the Tennessee Lady Vols are getting more love when it comes to NCAA Tournament projections, even if it’s ever so slightly. It also helps that they scored a quality win over the LSU Tigers three days later.
At 16-4 and 6-1 in the SEC, Kellie Harper’s team is certainly off to a solid start, and they actually rose one spot in both polls this past week. Now, they are at No. 22. However, there is still a lot to figure out with this team.
As we said last week, it all comes down to strength of schedule. They were No. 64 in the RPI, and despite losing a game, they have actually moved up to No. 51 in the women’s basketball RealTime RPI. There’s one key reason. With two quality games, their strength of schedule jumped from No. 197 to No. 134.
That’s not great, but it’s a major improvement, and it could soon get into the top 100. Also, LSU counts as a quality win since they are No. 24 in the RPI, and at this point, they are actually the first quality win of the season for the Tennessee Lady Vols. So where does this leave them in NCAA Tournament projections? Well, mostly they moved up.
Now, Charlie Creme of ESPN, who gave them the most respect last week, didn’t change his position on them at all. They are still a No. 8 seed, this time in a bracket hosted by the No. 1 seed Louisville Cardinals in the Fort Wayne region and facing the Central Michigan Chippewas in the first round.
On the other hand, College Sports Madness gave Rocky Top a huge bump. They went from a No. 9 seed to a No. 7 seed and are projected to face the No. 10 seed Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first round in a bracket hosted by, of all teams, No. 2 seed UConn. This would be the region of the Baylor Bears as the No. 1 seed.
Fellow FanSided site High Post Hoops also gave UT a bump, but they still give them the least respect. There, they jumped from No. 11 to No. 10 and would face the No. 7 seed Arizona Wildcats in the Portland Region in the first round in a bracket hosted by the No. 2 seed N.C. State Wolfpack.
It’s good news for the Tennessee Lady Vols to be rising. Now, though, the real tests begin. They are currently in the midst of 10 straight games against top 100 RPI teams with seven more to come, including the Vanderbilt Commodores twice.
In between those Vanderbilt games, they have five straight games against top 50 RPI teams and four straight against top 25 RPI teams. The Arkansas Razorbacks on the road, before their second game against Vanderbilt, will break the top 25 streak.
After visiting Vanderbilt, though, they visit the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks, host the No. 11 Mississippi State Bulldogs, play LSU again, this time on the road, and then host the No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies. With that run, their SOS is projected to finish at No. 81, and they are projected to have a top 50 RPI. So this is where their stretch run begins.