On Saturday March 3, 2018, The University of Tennessee Men’s Basketball team clinched the SEC title as co-champions. The last time that the Volunteers have clinched the conference regular season championship was in 2008 when they were assisted by great players such as Bobby Maze, Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince and Scotty Hopson. A decade has gone by, and the Volunteers have finally clinched another championship.
Many fans across Vol nation have celebrated.
“Students are excited, and it has been long anticipated,” said Duke Yates, a student on UT campus. “You see students wearing shirts, and you can’t go anywhere without seeing the orange and white.”
The players seem to also be excited, and this championship gives them something to look forward to entering the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Jordan Bowden, a UT sophomore standout seems to think that everything is clicking for the team.
“We are playing some of our best basketball,” Bowden said. “We are just staying focused, and that’s all we can do.”
March 11, 2018, the Vols played in a game that they all dreamed to play, the SEC tournament championship. They faced off against the Kentucky Wildcats and fell to them 77-72. The last time that the Volunteers made an appearance and won was 1979. Even though they have lost the tournament championship, they still have the big dance awaiting them. On the following Monday morning, the team got the word that they will place third in the bracket which puts them in good position to go to the Elite Eight.
The team is sitting at 25-8 (wins-losses) on the season and has the opportunity to keep pressing forward.
On March 15, the Vols went up against the Wright State Raiders in Dallas. The Vols won 77-47, pushing them on to play their next game against Loyola University in Chicago on March 17.
Unfortunately for the Vols, they did not advance on past Loyola University and lost, 63-62. It was a hard fought game, and at a last second buzzer beater, Loyola scored and won the game, sending them on to continue playing in Atlanta and the Vols back home to Knoxville.
Regardless of the disappointing loss against Loyola, the Vols still had a great season and expect to have another great season next year.