Tennessee Volunteers SEC Tournament record under Rick Barnes

Feb 20, 2024; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes.
Feb 20, 2024; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Barnes has held the reigns of the Tennessee Volunteers basketball program for nine seasons now. 

With two regular season conference titles secured and a win in the conference championship game at the 2022 SEC Tournament, Barnes’ time in Knoxville hasn’t been too shabby.

Frequently named one of the least trustworthy coaches in the postseason, just how well has Barnes done with Tennessee? While his teams’ runs in the NCAA Tournament may never reach the pinnacle of success, the Vols have faired pretty well under his guise.

Tennessee Volunteers record in the SEC Tournament under Rick Barnes

. Rick Barnes. . 11-6 SEC Tournament record. Rick Barnes. Rick Barnes. HC. 534. player.

In 2016, the Volunteers defeated the Auburn Tigers by an astonishing 38 points to move on to the Second Round where they upset Vanderbilt by just two points.

Tennessee fell to the four-seed LSU Tigers in the quarterfinals for Barnes’ first SEC Tournament loss with the team.

Barnes and the Vols were quickly eliminated from the 2017 tournament when they lost to the eight-seed Georgia Bulldogs.

In 2018, Tennessee made a run all the way to the championship game before being upset by Kentucky. This was the farthest Barnes’ team had made it in the conference tournament.

A similar fate awaited them in 2018 as the Vols returned to the SEC Tournament championship game, just to be upset by Auburn in a shocking 20-point blowout.

After the 2020 postseason was canceled, Barnes and the Vols were ready to make another run in 2021. However, Tennessee had to face top-seed Alabama in the semifinals and lost by just five points. The Crimson Tide went on to win the SEC Tournament that season.

Barnes finally cut the net in 2022 after his team defeated Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Texas A&M to win the conference tournament. The Vols walked away with the win after trouncing the Aggies by 15 points.

Rick Barnes
Texas A&M v Tennessee / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Most recently, Barnes struggled to find repeated success in the tourney. After easily beating Ole Miss in the Second Round, Tennessee fell to Missouri in the quarterfinals of the 2023 SEC Tournament.

This year, Barnes and the Vols are entering the tournament with their highest seed ever as the top team in the conference. Tennessee went 24-7 in the regular season and is currently ranked No. 5 on the AP Poll Top 25.

The Vols have byes through the first two rounds and will start their tournament run in the quarterfinals on March 15 at noon CT.

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