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Tennessee plays Louisiana in first round of the NCAA Tournament

The Vols look to avoid a first-round upset and gain some momentum, starting off with a matchup with the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Credit: AP
Tennessee guard Santiago Vescovi (25) shoots as Mississippi forward Myles Burns (3) defends in the second half in an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022 in Oxford, Miss. Tennessee won 63-59. (AP Photo/Bruce Newman)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee men’s basketball begins its NCAA Tournament run on Thursday night against Louisiana.

The Vols flare the four seed in the East Region. The Ragin’ Cajuns are the 13 seed.

Tennessee is coming off a 23-10 season and having lost 7 of its last 12 games heading into March Madness. During that stretch, they did beat the number one overall seed in the tournament Alabama inside Thompson-Bing Arena. On a down note during that stretch, they lost starting point guard Zakai Zeigler to a season-ending torn ACL injury.

Louisiana is coming off a 26-7 season and locked an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a Sun Belt Championship.

The Vols are led by Santiago Vescovi, who was an All-SEC first-team selection for the second season in a row. He averages 12.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. The Ragin’ Cajuns are led by forward Jordan Brown. He is averaging 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

The Vols have never made it to the Final Four. Their last Sweet 16 appearance was in 2019. They haven’t been to the Elite 8 since 2010.

Game time between Tennessee and Louisiana is at 9:40 p.m. on CBS. 

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