Ready for some March Madness mathematics?
Consider Tennessee’s scenario where the NCAA men’s basketball tournament seedings are concerned.
UT sits No. 13 in the most recent RealTimeRpi.com ratings, theoretically on the brink of a No. 3 seed in one of the four NCAA regionals.
But the way the SEC tournament sets up, the Vols (23-7, 11-5) find themselves at a disadvantage opening with LSU (11-19, 2-14) at 3:15 p.m. Thursday in Nashville.
Even if Tennessee wins, it ultimately loses ground in the all-important RPI rankings by playing the Tigers.
LSU has an RPI of 222 – which damages the Vols’ strength of schedule portion of the RPI formula, which ranks 20th.
A win over the Tigers would put the Vols into a second-round game (3:15 p.m., Friday) against the hottest team in the SEC, Ole Miss.
The Rebels (21-9, 9-7) remain on the bubble, listed Sunday night among ESPN bracketology’s “first four” teams out of the field despite their four-game win streak.
But Ole Miss, by virtue of being the No. 2 team in the West Division, gets a bye before playing the UT/LSU winner.