Rick Barnes' five worst postseason losses at Tennessee

Rick Barnes has brought success to Rocky Top but hasn't been able to get the job done in the postseason.

Mar 17, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Loyola (Il) Ramblers guard Clayton Custer (13) hits the game-winning
Mar 17, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Loyola (Il) Ramblers guard Clayton Custer (13) hits the game-winning / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 4: 2024 SEC Tournament vs No. 9 Mississippi State

This is the only SEC Tournament loss on this list. Barnes has seen a lot of success in the SEC Tournament, with most of the Vols' losses coming against better or equal opponents. Tennessee had a chance to run the table, win the SEC Tournament Championship, and secure a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

All of that opportunity quickly vanished in Tennessee's first SEC Tournament game. The Vols came out of the gate struggling, scoring four points in the game's first eight minutes. They allowed Mississippi State to build a lead early, and the Bulldogs never looked back.

This wasn't a gut-wrenching loss like Purdue or other games on this list. It wasn't expected, but it doesn't have the same repercussions as an upset in the NCAA Tournament. The Vols played poorly and haven't played in a must-win game in two weeks.

It will be even longer when the NCAA Tournament starts, which can be an issue when the Vols are lining up against teams that are consistently playing high-level basketball. The Vols' loss to Mississippi State could be the reason their season comes to an early end.

Next. This one stat says Tennessee won't win the National Championship. This one stat says Tennessee won't win the National Championship. dark

While this loss doesn't end Tennessee's season, it is one of Barnes' worst postseason losses at Tennessee. The Bulldogs upset the Vols early in conference play, but Tennessee turned a corner and changed for the better. Regardless, Tennessee got hit early and couldn't recover, leading to another embarrassing postseason loss for Barnes and the Vols.