Is Santiago Vescovi playing in Elite 8? Latest update

Tennessee guard Santiago Vescovi missed the Sweet 16 game against Creighton and we finally know if he will play in the Elite 8.

Mar 20, 2024; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Santiago Vescovi (25) shoots the ball
Mar 20, 2024; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Santiago Vescovi (25) shoots the ball / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Santiago Vescovi missed Tennessee basketball's Sweet 16 win over Creighton due to sickness. His absence allowed Jahmai Mashack to take his place, especially on defense in the hard-fought win over the Bluejays but Vescovi is expected to return to the court sooner than later.

The Vols guard told media on Saturday that he wants to play in the Elite 8. Vescovi is not known for missing games throughout his college career. Friday night's game was only the fourth game in five years he had missed. It's a feeling out process at this point as he is still recovering from the flu, but wants to be out there with his teammates win or lose when they take on Purdue.

"I want to play," Vescovi said on Saturday. "The flu has been kicking my tail, but yeah, we'll see today how I feel out there, and then tomorrow, same thing. The main message is that I do wanna play and be with the guys. I'm going to do everything I can to play tomorrow."

Head coach Rick Barnes also expects to see Vescovi ready to play on Sunday. "He looked better today," Barnes said. "We won't obviously do very much today. We'll just see really more so tomorrow, I think once we get going. We expect him to be ready."

Barnes also noted that Vescovi's sickness has not prevented him from keeping up with gameplanning and strategy through Zoom in case he is ready to go on Sunday. There is a clear expectation from Vescovi and Barnes that he will play on Sunday. The entire team stepped up in his absence on Friday night, but it will take a full team effort to defeat Purdue.

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The Vols and Boilermakers will tip off at 2:20 PM ET on Sunday. The Vols will look to hand Purdue their fifth loss of the season and secure their spot in this year's Final Four.