Tennessee Volunteers all-time Sweet 16 history

The Tennessee Volunteers are back in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year under Rick Barnes, but it's not a round of the NCAA Tournament that the program is very familiar with.
FAU and Tennessee are seen on the court during a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game
FAU and Tennessee are seen on the court during a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game / Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY

Rick Barnes has gotten the Tennessee Volunteers back to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year, but this time around he not only has a healthy Zakai Zeigler, but he has the SEC Player of the Year Dalton Knecht on his side. Last season didn’t go well for the Vols in the Regional Semifinal and since the tournament expanded in 1985, Tennessee is 1-6 in seven trips to the Sweet 16. 

Rick Barnes personally is 3-5 over his extensive head coaching career between Clemson, Texas, and Tennessee. 

. 55. 534. . . 62. 2276. 2023 Sweet 16. 2023 Sweet 16

After surviving the first weekend of the tournament without Zeigler, who tore his ACL near the end of the season for Tennessee, the Vols ran out of offense against FAU in the Sweet 16. Josiah Jordan-James led the way with eight points in the losing effort and as a team, Tennessee shot 33.3% from the field. This inept offensive performance is one of the reasons Barnes brought Knecht to Knoxville for 2024. 

. 99. 492. . 2019 Sweet 16. 2019 Sweet 16. 94. 534.

Offense wasn’t the issue in the 2019 Sweet 16. Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield each went for 21 points and the Vols shot 50% from the field and 12/24 from three, but Carsen Edwards of Purdue dropped 29 and played all 45 minutes. Tennessee had an 82-80 lead with 1.7 seconds remaining, but Edwards hit two of three free throws to send the game to OT where No. 3 seed Purdue pulled away from No. 2 Tennessee. 

485. . . 2014 Sweet 16. 73. 2014 Sweet 16. . 71. 534

As a No. 11 seed, Jordan McRae led Tennessee to the Sweet 16, but the surprise run ended in the Midwest Regional Semifinal. McRae finished with 24 for the Vols, and with 9.6 seconds left, Tennessee forced a turnover down 72-71 to have a chance at the final shot, but Jarnell Stokes got called for a charge, giving the ball back to Michigan to ice the game. 

2010 Sweet 16. 490. . . 76. 534. . 2010 Sweet 16. 73

Tennessee’s only trip to the Elite Eight came in 2010 when as a No. 6 seed, the Volunteers toppled No. 2 seed Ohio State and Evan Turner. Turner had 31 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Buckeyes but UT’s balanced attack, led by Wayne Chism, who finished with 22, was enough to sneak back Ohio State. Bruce Pearl is the only coach to take Tennessee past the regional semifinal. 

. 79. 438. . 2008 Sweet 16. 534. 2008 Sweet 16. 60.

Earl Clark, future NBA first-round draft pick, scored 17 points off the bench for Louisville in a game that the Cardinals led 37-30 at the half and pulled away from the No. 2 seed Volunteers and head coach Bruce Pearl. This marked back-to-back Sweet 16 losses for Pearl’s team. 

. 2007 Sweet 16. 2007 Sweet 16. 490. . 84. . 534. 85

With Greg Oden and Mike Conley on the other side, Ohio State had a 33-3 record and was on a collision course with Florida. However, Tennessee almost spoiled the fun for the No. 1 seed before it ultimately lost to the Gators in the national championship game. 

Oden was held to just nine points in 18 minutes with four personal fouls, but it was Ohio State’s Ron Lewis who finished with 25 in the one-point victory over Tennessee. Chris Lofton led Tennessee with 24 points. 

2000 Sweet 16. 69. 534. . 74. 441. . 2000 Sweet 16.

Tennessee’s first trip to the Sweet 16 came courtesy of head coach Jerry Green and Vincent Yarbrough, who finished with 13 points in the close loss to North Carolina. The Tar Heels got 24 from Joseph Forte and advanced to the Elite Eight and eventually the Final Four as a No. 8 seed.

Creighton vs. Tennessee TV Schedule and Announcers for Sweet 16. Creighton vs. Tennessee TV Schedule and Announcers for Sweet 16. dark. Next