No one expected the Tennessee Vols to claim a share of the regular season SEC title in 2017-18.
It could be argued that talking heads were so disinterested in Tennessee basketball last season that it actually provided a season’s worth of motivation for the Volunteers.
This upcoming season, Tennessee won’t be sneaking up on anyone. After a run that saw the Vols go from a predicted No. 13 finish in the SEC, all the way to being a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, it’s safe to say that UT will be expected to do big things in 2018-19.
ESPN’s recently released Basketball Power Index agrees with that sentiment.
The rankings, which factor in experience, quality of experience, the past performance of the head coach and recruiting rankings, have the Volunteers listed as the third best team in the nation.
Tennessee comes in behind Gonzaga and the top ranked team, Kansas.
According to the Power Index, the Vols’ offense is ranked No. 8 in the nation and their defense is ranked No. 5.
It’s going to be incredibly interesting to see if Tennessee is able to live up to the high expectations this season. The Vols weren’t facing any sort of pressure last season.
Sure, they definitely put pressure on themselves to perform well, but they didn’t face constant attention/praise from the national media.
If Tennessee can keep their edge next season, they’ll be a threat to win the national championship.
But they’ll have to be careful not get caught up in their own hype.
Featured image via USA Today