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Tennessee basketball NCAA Tournament preview: How far will Vols go? What is acceptable for Rick Barnes?

On the heels of the news that they received a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, Tennessee basketball will play its first March Madness game Thursday night. Off The Hook’s Monday, March 13 podcast features coverage of the tournament. Caleb Calhoun and Dave Hooker discuss the end of the SEC Tournament, though.

When will Vols abandon midrange?

Last Friday, Tennessee basketball fell to the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals solely because of their commitment to the inefficient midrange. Will Rick Barnes ever move away from that shot? Why, after it has proven to be an outdated method, does he stick with it? Is that what will do the Vols in when they tip off in the Big Dance Thursday?

Tennessee basketball receives No. 4 seed in NCAA Tournament

Despite getting swept by the Kentucky Wildcats and effectively swept by the Missouri Tigers with a series of other bad losses, Tennessee basketball earned a No. 4 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament. Given how they finished at 4-6 and the season-ending injury to Zakai Zeigler, were they seeded too high? Could they have been seeded too low?

Looking ahead to Vols’ March Madness slate

On Thursday, the Vols will face the No. 13 seed Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. If they win, they will then face then winner between the No. 5 seed Duke Blue Devils and No. 12 seed Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Saturday. What are the best and worst case scenarios for UT in the tourney? Could they beat a red-hot Duke team in the Round of 32? Should they fear Louisiana?

How far must Tennessee basketball go to avoid criticism of Rick Barnes?

Historically, Rick Barnes teams have underperformed in the NCAA Tournament. How far must this team go for Barnes to stave off criticism from restless fans? Are the Vols capable of having a basketball program that makes a Final Four run once every five years, or is this the best they can do?

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