The Vols hope to make school history this March by reaching their first ever Final Four.
The journey begins Friday as Tennessee opens play in the Big Dance against the Colgate Raiders.
When you go to the Big Dance as a two seed, you want more than ‘one shining moment’.
Said Vols forward Admiral Schofield:”Understand we are here on business as well. We are here to accomplish our main goal. That’s to win a national championship.”
Said Vols center Kyle Alexander:”The urgency is there because we are not trying to have this end anytime soon. We are trying to be with this group as long as we can.”
Colgate on the other hand is looking to create ‘one shining moment’ with a huge upset as a 15 seed.
Said Colgate forward Rapolas Ivanauscus:”I know just looking at Middle Tennessee beating Michigan State. Just great upset stories. It all could happen. Like Wolf said, we are playing free. We are not playing with nerves. We’re really happy to be here, but we also know we earned our way here.”
Said Colgate head coach Matt Langel:”My son is nine years-old, and he is a basketball junkie. He was watching the ACC tournament and the SEC tournament. All the possible teams that we could play. After Tennessee lost, he said dad, we might play Tennessee, and here’s what we should do. Don’t let any of their leading scorers ever touch the ball, (laughter) and we’ll be good. So for everybody out there, that’s our game plan.” (laughter) If you try and go up and down and play transition basketball with a team of their caliber, you’re running a big risk. I think we’ve got to manage the game.”
And Tennessee has to manage their defense behind the arc, maybe turning Colgate into ‘Raiders of the Lost Arc’.
Said Colgate guard Jordan Burns:”Everybody you know looking at this game says that if we can shoot the three-ball that we’ll have a good chance of winning this game. That’s our plan. We’re planning on hitting shots. We’re planning on going in and making the right shots.”
Said Vols forward Grant Williams:”They shoot the ball well. We’ll try to run them out of their stuff. Not let them be as comfortable. We’ll speed those three’s up. They may still fall, but you also don’t want them to get into a rhythm.”
The game tips at 2:45pm est on News 12 Now.