In East Tennessee fans are already looking ahead to Sunday's matchup, but not before savoring Friday's victory. 3-21-14
(WBIR - Knoxville) Vols fans made a lot of noise inside local bars and restaurants as they cheered Big Orange on to victory against the Massachusetts Minutemen on Friday.
"We were biting our nails because we know how teams come back on you, but wow!," said Lanette Elder.
"It was great! I think they dominated down on the post just like everybody said we were going to and they came out strong and made a pretty definitive statement," said Graham Gilley.
Fans' eyes were glued to the nearest TV as the Vols made that statement. by blowing out UMass 86 - 67.
"They won the boards, the won the inside games, and McRae was McRae. He's a fabulous player," said Bob Fleischhacker.
"I think they can take Mercer. It's a good match-up and it would be cool to see them to beat them and go on to the next round," said Micah McCroty.
STORY: TN defeats UMass 86-67
On campus, UT students were pleased with how the men's basketball team performed on the court and believe the Vols could go far in the NCAA tournament.
"Based off of their performance today and the last game, I think they have a pretty good chance. The next matchup the play Mercer who upset Duke. I don't think it'll be a cake walk, but they should have a pretty good chance of beating them. I would say Sweet 16 probably for sure with a possibility of entering the Elite 8," said grad student Nawar Chaker.
"That would be awesome for our campus. Athletics, the past couple of years have been a little bit rocky for UT and even in the middle of our basketball season everyone was down about things so the morale of student athletics would definitely be up if our basketball team got far in the tournament," said UT sophomore Marynell Hayes.
Sunday, the Vols will take on Mercer in Raleigh, North Carolina.