Tennessee Basketball: Rocky Times on Rocky Top, Vols Lose Two in a Row

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Tennessee Basketball: Rocky Times on Rocky Top, Vols Lose Two in a Row
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In less than one week, Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee men's basketball team has known the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Last Saturday, the Volunteers went to Pittsburgh and handed the Panthers their first non-conference loss at home in nearly six years.

With that win, the Vols climbed to No. 7 in the polls and grabbed the No. 1 RPI rating.

Instead of that huge victory being a launching pad to bigger and better things, Tennessee has taken two giant steps backwards during the rest of this week.

Tuesday night in Knoxville, mid-major Oakland (MI) University came to town, and through the first half of the game, the Volunteers looked like they were going to blow the Golden Grizzlies off the court.

However, Oakland outscored Tennessee 50-32 in the second half, and the Vols lost a stunning contest, 89-82.

This was only the second time Tennessee had lost on its home court to a non-conference opponent in coach Bruce Pearl's six seasons.

Certainly, this would be a wake-up call to the program that it can't take anyone for granted.

Friday night would be a chance to get everything back on track as the Vols went on the road to play UNC-Charlotte.

The 49ers were struggling this season, winning only four of their first 10 games. Plus, they hadn't beaten a top 10 team since 2004.

In a game in which both teams shot less than 35 percent from the field, Charlotte pulled off the upset, 49-48, handing Tennessee its second straight loss to an un-ranked mid-major team.

What in the world is going on with Tennessee?

The Vols are a talented ball club that could be undefeated, but now are going to have to figure things out quickly.

The following are a few places that need attention if the Vols are going to get their season headed back in the right direction.

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