Tennessee Volunteers Basketball: Win Versus Gators Gives Tennessee Life

Clint EilandAnalyst IFebruary 12, 2012

Yesterday, the Vols ended the Gators' 19-game home winning streak, giving Florida some real questions about their team and giving Tennessee some new life.

It seems that this Tennessee team plays up to the pressure and the focus, which is great news considering we are in the last stretch of the season. If the Vols have any chance of making the SEC tournament, they need to go at least 6-3 in their last nine games. They already have three wins.

With six games remaining, including ones with Arkansas, Alabama and Vanderbilt, the Vols need to find some consistent play. They found it versus Florida yesterday.

The offensive rebounds were what gave Tennessee the upset. The Vols out-rebounded the Gators 36-30, including 12 offensive rebounds. This enabled them to dominate the paint with 36 points compared to Florida's 14.

As of now, Tennessee has three wins versus ranked teams (14,11 and seven respectively), which might be good enough for an entrance into the NIT conversation. But that is bare minimum. Certainly winning the SEC tournament would help their chances of getting that invite, but we need to look at all the possibilities.

It would be to Tennessee's benefit to finish out the season as well as they can, which can be very good when looking at their schedule. If they can beat either Alabama or Vanderbilt, it would further prove their legitimacy as a tournament threat.

All the pieces are there for Tennessee to make a run. Their rebounding is the highlight of this team, and as we all know, rebounding can make or break games. Add Jarnell Stokes and Jerone Maymon to that formula, and you have a recipe for success.