MARCH MADNESS: Vol fans have big expectations

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KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Vol fans agree that Tennessee's 89-56 victory over South Carolina on Sunday was the perfect way to close out a great regular season.

In the process, the Big Orange was setting the stage for what could be a deep run into the NCAA Tournament.

"Tennessee's going to come out smoking this tournament up," said Charles Jetter, a Vol Fan who may have seemed like a soothsayer after the Vols slow start at Thompson Boling Arena. "We've played poorly the last couple of years, but I think that Bruce has got them fired up and he knows this is it, it is tournament time."

Vol Fans are now die-hards, and if the players ever catch the fan's fever, they could be unstoppable.

"I think we can go very far in the tournament, further than we did last year,” said Levar Bogus, another Vol fan. “I think we at least get to the final four, if not to the title game. I don't think there is anyone in the country that can beat us right now.”

While Coach Pearl was cutting down the netting, another team was about to battle it out for an SEC Championship.

Hours later, the Lady Vols took home a 61-55 victory over LSU’s Lady Tigers, meaning the winning spirit got to take double billing on Sunday night in Big Orange Country.

“They both usually play well in big games,” said Rachelle Peck, another Vol Fan. “They both have amazing coaches, good defenses, and they both hustle. I think that's what's important during tournament time."

The men next play on Friday in the SEC Tournament.

NCAA Tournament bids don’t go out until next Sunday, which is also the first day of the SEC Tournament Championship.

Five teams from state of Tennessee are expected to get one of the 65 bids.

They are UT, Vanderbilt, Memphis, Austin Peay and Belmont.

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