Vols confident heading into Big Dance

Tennessee is making its 25th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee is making its 25th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 10:42 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The No. 4 seed Tennessee basketball team begins NCAA Tournament play Thursday in Orlando, taking on No. 13 seed Louisiana as part of the East Region at 9:40 p.m. ET inside the Amway Center.

Fans can catch Thursday’s game on WVLT (CBS) and online or on any mobile device through the CBS Sports app.

Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Dan Bonner (analyst), Stan Van Gundy (analyst) and Lauren Shehadi (reporter) will have the call.

The CBS analysts were not showing the Vols much love on Selection Sunday, calling the Vols over-seeded and primed for an upset at the hands of the Ragin Cajuns. Coach Rick Barnes and the rest of the Vols fired back on Monday.

Tennessee (23-10) is coming off a regular season in which it played 16 games against 12 different teams in the NCAA Tournament, highlighted by wins over No. 1 seeds Alabama and Kansas and over No. 2 seed Texas.

The Vols’ inclusion in this year’s NCAA Tournament marks the fifth straight NCAA Tournament that the Vols have made. Thursday marks the 11th all-time meeting between Tennessee and Louisiana, with two of the previous meetings also having taken place in the NCAA Tournament. The Vols hold a 9-1 lead in the series.

With a win Thursday, Tennessee would advance to face the winner of No. 5 seed Duke (26-8) and No. 12 seed Oral Roberts (30-4) on Saturday. The time and television network for Saturday will be determined following the conclusion of Thursday’s games.

Tennessee leads its all-time series with Louisiana, 9-1, dating to 1966. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ lone win in the series came at the 1985 Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans. These programs have met twice previously in the NCAA Tournament, with the Volunteers winning both games.