- Advertisement -

Tennessee Basketball: A look at Vols first-round 2024 NCAA Tournament opponent

- Advertisement -

Tennessee Basketball is facing a team that is well equipped to wreck the Vols’ season, as they’ll be pitted against one of the most impressive NCAA Tournament long-shot runs in recent memory.

The Vols, who are a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament, will play Saint Peter’s on Thursday. Tennessee Basketball missed out on a No. 1 seed after being throughly beaten by Mississippi State 73-56 on Friday in the first round of the SEC Basketball Tournament.

Saint Peter’s was one of the hottest basketball teams in the nation in 2022 when they beat No. 2 Kentucky in overtime in the first round, No. 7 Murray State in the second round and No. 3 Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen to make the Elite Eight. The Peacocks were then bounced out of the tournament by No. 8 North Carolina 69-49, missing the Final Four but still making the deepest run in school history. 

The Peacocks had never won an NCAA Tournament basketball game before 2022, when they quickly became one of the top stories of that tournament and one of the most unlikely Cinderella teams in recent memory.

The Resume

The Peacocks made the NCAA Tournament after beating Fairfield 68-63 on Saturday to secure the MAAC Tournament conference tournament, as well as its automatic bid. Saint Peter’s entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed before securing the championship with wins over Rider University and No. 1 Quinnipiac in the first two rounds of the tournament. The Peacocks are 19-13 and 12-8 in the MAAC.

- Advertisement -

The Skinny

The Peacocks scored 65.3 points per game, which was 343rd in the NCAA, and gave up 63.5 per contest, which is 12th best in college basketball. They outscore opponents by 1.8 points per game. 

The Peacocks typically outrebound their opponent, averaging 35.6 rebounds per game, which is 155th in the nation, and 2.5 more than the 33.1 its opponents rebound average  

Saint Peter’s hits 5.9 three-pointers per game, which is 316th best in the NCAA. Its opponents average 5.7 made threes per game. The Peacocks can force turnovers, winning that battle by 1.4 per game, committing 11.5 turnovers per game while its opponents average 12.9.

The Best

Saint Peter’s is led in scoring by senior Latrell Reid. The guard averages 32.8 points per game, hits 37-percent of his field goals and 35-percent from behind the arc. Forward Corey Washington is the Peacocks most efficient player. The sophomore averaged 28.6 points per game and is 47-percent from the floor this season.

Washington’s 164 rebounds this season is tops for the Peacocks. Reid’s 146 assists is tops among his St. Louis teammates.

The Rest

Sophomore guard Brent Bland has sticky fingers and leads the Peacocks with 41 steals this season. Sophomore forward Mouhamed Sow is the force in the front court, leading the Peacocks with 35 blocks this season and is second on the team with 157 rebounds this season.

The Last Ten

Saint Peter’s has only lost two of its last 10 games, which would seem to indicate the Peacocks are playing their best basketball of the season. That would explain winning the MAAC tournament, which included beating Quinnipiac, which previously beat St. Louis twice earlier this season.

The Conclusion

Tennessee Basketball shouldn’t struggle to beat St. Louis despite the Vols’ woes in two losses to end their pre-NCAA Tournament entry. Still, playing a team with a recent Cinderella history is probably not how Rick Barnes would have drawn it up.

Take part in our NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge by joining Hooker’s Corner today. Become a john for multiple ways to win prizes.

- Advertisement -

Latest YouTube Video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *