As of the first week of March, the Cougars sit comfortably as a projected 7 seed according to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. The team is 19-5 and second in the WCC conference. They’ve won four of their last five games, with the only loss coming to Gonzaga. Currently, they are ranked just outside monday morning’s AP poll. Their resume looks solid, with their best win coming from a road victory over No. 19 San Diego State.
Much of their recent success has come from their three points shots. Combined, the team is shooting 47.8 percent from beyond the arc over its last seven games. Keep in mind that many dark horse tournament teams in recent years have found success largely due to their three-point performances. The most notable examples are UConn in 2014 (38.7 percent), Michigan State in 2015 (38.5 percent) and Loyola Chicago in 2018(39.6 percent).
The Huskies look to be in a good position heading into the final week of the regular season. The team has won their last three games by at least 10 points, and have been placed as a No. 9 seed on this week’s bracket of ESPN’s bracketology. The team has a record of 13-6 and is third in the Big East conference. They have had some tough losses this year against ranked teams, Villanova and Creighton, but don’t count them out just yet.
Arguably the best scorer in college basketball James Bouknight came back into the lineup after an elbow injury. He looks to be plenty healthy and gunning it on the court. To give some perspective on how good the sophomore guard is, Bouknight dropped 40 points on a good Creighton team earlier this year and took them to overtime in a narrow loss. With a rising momentum the team seems to have, the Huskies will be looking at a run in the Big East tournament and March Madness.
The Volunteers have performed below expectations in 2020-21. The team is 13-7 this year and placed fifth in SEC play. Nevertheless, if the team picks it up on the scoring end and continues to dominate on defense, Tennessee could be dangerous. They boast wins over ranked Kansas and Missouri this season.
What sticks them out from the rest of the tournament contenders is their defensive ability. Their defense ranks 6th in the nation per KenPom.com and top 25 in opposing team’s points per game. With an elite and aggressive defense, the Volunteers will have a solid shot locking down better opponents during the tournament. One thing the team must look out for, however, is keeping care of the basketball. In their last 11 matchups, the team has turned over the ball on an average of 13.8 times.
“From Our Haus to Yours”