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March Madness 2010: Tennessee Vols Feel Disrespected with Six Seed

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13:  Head coach Bruce Pearl of the Tennessee Volunteers talks with Scotty Hopson #32, Bobby Maze #3 and Brian Williams #33 against the Kentucky Wildcats during the semirfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Joel BarkerSenior Writer IMarch 15, 2010

I'll admit, my first reaction was shock.

I figured Tennessee would drop from a certain No. 4 seed based on their performance, or lack thereof, against Kentucky in the SEC Tournament semifinal.

But I figured the drop would be no more than one spot.

After all, the Vols were projected as a high No. 4 before the Kentucky game, and would have probably been a low No. 3 had they defeated Kentucky.

So to see that No. 6 come up against a really good No. 11 San Diego State was quite disheartening for Vol players, coaches, and fans.

Some players reacted via twitter. Among those was @swiperboy A.K.A. Renaldo Woolridge who said, "6 seed??????????"

Scotty Hopson tweeted a slight variation on Woolridge's initial impression, "6 seed?!?!?!?!?!?!"

Senior point guard Bobby Maze told reporters, "I guess beating the two so-called best teams in the country in the same year doesn't mean what I thought it meant."

After CBS Hoops Analyst Seth Davis picked the Vols to go down in the first round led Maze to wonder if, "Maybe that dude was watching his own channel" on the days that Tennessee defeated then No. 1 Kansas and No. 2 Kentucky, the top two seeds in the tournament.

Brian Williams added, "A 5 would have been a little off, but I could see that. But a 6? Man, that’s crazy."

Maze later tweeted, "What do u do when your back is against the wall, when everyone is doubting you and your team u prove them thats the only thing on my mind."

Sounds like a team that is quite miffed at not only the seed, but the popular prognostication that their season will end Thursday night around midnight eastern.

Still, Coach Bruce Pearl decided to take the high road when he told reporters, "I'd rather be standing here debating our seed with you than wondering why we didn't get in the tournament."

At least that's what Pearl will say in public.

You'd be crazy to think he won't use that as a motivational tool over the next few days.

The Vols are in the Midwest region and will play San Diego State in Providence, RI on Thursday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. eastern. The Vols opened as a 3.5-point favorite.

Should the Vols win their next opponent would likely be Georgetown who plays Ohio in the opening round.

Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the Vols region.

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