How Tennessee Basketball Has Fared as a Second Seed in NCAA Tournament

How Tennessee Basketball Has Fared as a Second Seed in NCAA Tournament
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

One of the hottest teams across the NCAA men’s basketball landscape happens to play in Knoxville, with the Tennessee Volunteers sitting a half-game out of the top spot in the SEC with six games to play.

Rick Barnes’ team is riding high off its latest conquest of Missouri on Tuesday night, with the Vols’ pulling off a 72-67 win in Columbia to move to 20-6 overall and 10-3 in SEC play.

Now, Tennessee must hold the line at home against Texas A&M on Saturday, before capping off the year against four straight ranked teams in No. 14 Auburn (at home Feb. 29), No. 13 Alabama (on the road March 2), No. 20 South Carolina (on the road March 6) and No. 17 Kentucky (at home March 9).

Ahead of that stretch of games, which will sure to draw interest from Tennessee sportsbooks, the Vols’ sit at No. 7 in the latest rankings and No. 6 in the NCAA’s most recent NET rankings. ESPN bracket guru Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm of CBS Sports both have UT as a second seed in the 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

With that in mind, took a break from finding the top TN sports betting promos and went through the archives to determine how the Vols have fared as a second seed in the Big Dance over the years.

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Tennessee History as No. 2 Seed


  • 1st round: Beat 15th seed Colgate, 77-70 
  • 2nd round: Beat 10th seed Iowa, 83-77 in OT 
  • Sweet 16: Lost to 3rd seed Purdue, 99-94 in OT


  • 1st round: Beat 15th seed American, 72-57 
  • 2nd round: Beat 7th seed Butler, 76-71 in OT 
  • Sweet 16: Lost to 3rd seed Louisville, 79-60


  • 1st round: Beat 15th seed Winthrop, 63-61
  • 2nd round: Lost to 7th seed Wichita State, 80-73

Fanatics Sportsbook Tennessee lists Connecticut as the championship favorite at +500. Purdue and Houston are tied for second at +800. Tennessee is fifth at +1300.

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Can UT Snap 2nd Seed Woes in 2024?

With UT firmly slotted into the tournament’s second seed line at the moment, 2024 represents a potential fourth No. 2 seed in school history.

Vols’ fans are likely hoping that history won’t repeat itself this spring, however, as UT hasn’t made it past the Sweet 16 in any of those three trips to the tournament, falling twice in the Sweet 16 to Purdue (2019) and Louisville (2008), while getting knocked out by Wichita State in the second round back in 2006.

Tennessee betting apps list UT as +190 to win the SEC regular season, just behind Alabama (-140). At the moment, UT fans are likely just hoping the Vols’ can make it past the Elite Eight for the first time in program history, going a step farther than the 2010 team that ultimately fell to Michigan State (70-69) in the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament.

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Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.