In what may turn out to be the biggest “bubble-team” showdown before Sunday, the Tennessee Volunteers and Alabama Crimson Tide faced off in the SEC quarterfinals today in a game that would see the loser likely eliminated from the field of 68, while the winner would be another win on Saturday from likely securing an at-large bid. Both teams battled bin a back-and-forth affair that had the physicality and intensity of their gridiron rivalry, with Bama holding just a 1-point lead entering halftime before Trevor Releford made a three-point jumper to give the tide a narrow 4-point edge at the half.
They would maintain a narrow lead for much of the second-half, highlighted by their red-hot three point shooting (started 5/7). The closest Tennessee was able to get was 50-46 with 5:27 remaining, but the Tide would close out the game on a 8-2 run to escape with a 58-48 win, and will now face the Florida Gators Saturday afternoon with a berth in the SEC Championship on the line.
The Vols now await Selection Sunday.