3 reasons the Vols could go far in the NCAA Tourney

(WBIR) The Tennessee Volunteers have one win under their belt in the NCAA tournament, and now will face UMass on Friday in the second round.

However, as an 11 seed, some people would consider the Vols an underdog -- but there are three things to remember, experts say.

1. According to a USA Today analysis, Tennessee is considered a Cinderella in the tournament. PredictionMachine.com stated if Tennessee survived the 'First Four,' they would have a 29.9% chance to reach the Sweet 16. This is tabulated from Tennessee's potential opponents in the future.

2. Being an 11 seed is not a curse. In the past, five 11 seed teams have made it to the Elite Eight. Three of them: LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, and VCU in 2011 made it to the Final Four.

3. Tennessee has never lost to UMass in its three prior matchups. Also, UMass has not been in a NCAA tournament since 1996. Experts say the 'shock factor' of the national spotlight may harm the Minutemen, while Tennessee, already with one win in hand, would be more comfortable on the hardwood.

Tennessee Sports Radio host Steve Phillips said the team has proven themselves to some wary fans who had doubts prior to Wednesday.

"I think after the way they won last night, some of the people who've been quiet -- maybe some of the doubters are starting to cheer for the team again," Phillips said.

Also -- if there's any extra motivation: Dayton won their underdog game against Ohio State Thursday. Dayton is also an 11 seed.


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