SHARE 3 COMMENTMORE

Tennessee prepares for NC State

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee once again may be hurting its NCAA tournament hopes early in the season.

The Volunteers (6-3) squandered an opportunity to get a quality non-conference victory Saturday by fading down the stretch of a 70-61 loss at No. 11 Wichita State, which was ranked 12th at the time. Tennessee attempts to bounce back Wednesday against North Carolina State (7-2), which has won five straight games.

Tennessee wants to avoid a repeat of the last two seasons, when early season struggles caused the Vols to land in the NIT rather than the NCAA tournament. But they aren't panicking or dwelling over how each loss in November or December may affect them in March. Senior guard Jordan McRae said that would just provide "more added pressure and worry that you don't need."