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. 3: 2022 Second Round vs No. 11 Michigan

Tennessee didn't make it out of Indianapolis in 2022 after losing to Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Vols' 76-68 loss ended another strong season for Barnes and the Vols, which had high expectations to at least advance past the Sweet Sixteen. Unfortunately, they didn't even make it that far.

Hunter Dickinson was a problem for Tennessee on both ends of the court in this game, finishing with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Then, when it mattered, Michigan's Eli Brooks buried the Vols late, scoring seven points in the final three and a half minutes of the game. 

Not only did Tennessee drop the ball, they did it against a team that could have just as easily missed the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines finished the regular season with 17 wins and a first-round exit in the Big Ten Tournament. It was a miracle that Michigan even made the tournament, so leave it to Tennessee to send Michigan to the Sweet Sixteen to continue their run.

The Vols won the SEC Championship in 2022 and were peaking going into the tournament. Tennessee had everything in front of them going into the tournament. With everything going Tennessee's way, the Vols were still unable to take advantage of the talent on their roster and their high seed with another upset against an inferior opponent.

While the Vols failed in 2018, 2019, and 2021, the loss to Michigan, to me, was confirmation that there is a reason Barnes can't succeed in the NCAA Tournament. To be fair, most coaches don't see a lot of success in the NCAA Tournament. Very few coaches in college basketball have figured out the method to March Madness, and Barnes is one of the hundreds of coaches still trying to figure it out.