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#6 Tennessee Vols (30-5 | 15-3 SEC) vs. Iowa (23-11 | 10-10 Big 10)
Sunday, March 24th, 2019 | 11:10am CT
Columbus, OH – With a spot in the Sweet Sixteen on the line, the Tennessee Vols are set to take on 10th-seed Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena in the South Region. The game tips at 11:10am CT and will be televised live on CBS.
Tennessee is 30-5 on the season. That impressive record includes a school-record 19-game winning streak, a program-record-tying three victories over top-five opponents and the second most victories in a single season in program history. The Tennessee Vols spent four weeks atop the Associated Press Top 25 rankings, and for the first time in program history, UT spent the entire season ranked among the top 10.
National Player of the Year candidate Grant Williams is just the 10th player in conference history to win SEC Player of the Year in back-to-back season and was the first since Arkansas’ Corliss Williamson did so in 1994 and 1995.
Williams was also tabbed first-team All-SEC after finishing the regular season as the top scorer in the SEC with 19.3 points per game.
He has been one of the nation’s most versatile and reliable players this season, averaging 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and an impressive 82 percent from the charity stripe.
Senior wing Admiral Schofield earned first-team All-SEC recognition from the coaches after averaging 16.3 points per game, which ranked second on the team and fifth in the SEC, to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Jordan Bone rounded out the Vols’ All-SEC performers, earning a nod on the second team by both the coaches and the AP. The junior point guard led the SEC in assists per game (6.1), ranked second in assist/turnover ratio (3.0) and seventh in field-goal percentage (.475).
Iowa (23-11) earned an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament out of the Big Ten Conference and advanced to the second round with a 79-72 victory over No. 7 seed Cincinnati on Friday. The Hawkeyes are trying to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1999.
Tennessee’s all-time series with Iowa is tied at 2-2. All four meetings took place at neutral sites.
The Vols are 23-34 all-time against current members of the Big 10.
Rick Barnes owns a 3-1 head coaching record vs. Iowa, with all meetings coming during his tenure at Texas. Barnes is 29-29 against current members of the Big 10.
A Win Would
Stand as Tennessee’s 31st win of the season. That would tie UT’s program record for wins (2007-08). It would also tie for the most wins in a season by a Rick Barnes‘ coached team. His 2007-08 Texas squad went 31-7.
Give the Volunteers a .500 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play (22-22).
Make Tennessee 4-0 in NCAA Tournament games played in Columbus, Ohio.
These teams last met in the First Four in 2014. Tennessee rallied from a 12-point deficit to win in overtime.
This year’s Vols have posted three wins over teams ranked in the AP top five. That ties the 1976-77 squad for UT’s most wins over top-five opponents in a single season.
Two of Tennessee’s four losses this season have come in overtime, and all five were away from home against opponents that are seeded No. 5 or better.
For the first time in program history, Tennessee has spent the entire season ranked in the top 10 of the AP Top 25.
The Vols will finish this season with no more than six losses.
Tennessee’s final average home attendance of 19,034 ranks fourth nationally.
Tennessee is 56-14 (.800) since the start of last season.
Sunday should mark Grant William’s 100th consecutive start.
A win by the Volunteers on Sunday would give Tennessee its eighth all-time Sweet Sixteen appearance—and its sixth since 2000.
Rick Barnes could become the 11th or 12th head coach to lead a third Division I program to the Sweet Sixteen.
If the Vols defeat Iowa on Sunday, possible Sweet Sixteen opponents next Thursday are No. 3 seed Purdue and No. 6 seed Villanova. Those teams meet Saturday at 7:40pm CT (TNT).
Tennessee has advanced to the Elite Eight only once in program history, defeating Ohio State and National Player of the Year Evan Turner to advance to the Regional Final in 2010.
About the Iowa Hawkeyes
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