"9th Ranked Vols Can't Overlook Auburn"

Patrick MacCoonContributor IJanuary 13, 2010

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 15:  Head coach Bruce Pearl of the Tennessee Volunteers yells to his players during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the Championship game of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 15, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

   Just coming off an emotionally charged win against Kansas, the ninth ranked Tennessee Vols will start SEC play tomorrow as they will take on the Auburn Tigers (9-7) at Thompson Bowling Arena.

  There's no doubt that the Volunteer players still are fired up from upsetting Kansas last Sunday, but they need to turn their focus quickly now to the Tigers.  Lets think about this for a minute, how many times have you seen a team who has just came off a huge win and then a few days later play another game and lose the next game because they didn't have their focus on that team leading up to that game?  I'm sure you've seen it many times before. 

  If Tennessee loses this game against Auburn it will be a huge loss and most likely will show how they will fare in SEC play this year.  On the other hand if the same team that showed up against the Jayhawks comes out and plays, Auburn is in for a waloping. 

  In the Kansas game Bobby Maze showed Bruce Pearl that he was a team leader and could carry the team down the stretch as well as Scotty Hopson. They will need to play well again tomorrow night if the Vols want to cruise by the Tigers, and not to mention Wayne Chism and J.P. Prince need to stay out of foul trouble. 

  The Tigers in this game are by far the underdogs and it wont help their chances any with the 18,000 plus Vols fans screaming in their ears.  You can expect the fans to be real rowdy and loud for their emotions to are running high after the recent departure of former UTK football head coach Lane "Hated" Kiffin. 

  This Vols basketball team has really come together since the release of Tyler Smith and the 3 suspended players.  As you could hear the players in the locker room after the Kansas game yelling, "we a family baby"!  So I would think they will play that way again and crush the Auburn Tigers and get off to a great start in SEC competition.  We will see if the inspired team that showed up against the Jayhawks shows up tomorrow night.