One of the best feeling as a University of Tennessee sports fan is beating Florida. And the Rocky Top Rowdies in Thompson-Boling Arena were going Craaaae for Jordan McRae and his 27 points to beat the No. 8 Gators in a game that could determine the Volunteers faith on Selection Sunday.
Where did this UT team come from? This isn’t the same UT team that only won three games in January. Maybe you can blame the slow start on the over exposure to turtle spray (opposite of deer antler spray) that was cleaned out of the football office when Dooley got the boot. One thing is for sure is that the VOLS are living and playing basketball like Good Ole Rocky Top! Now on a six game winning streak, the VOLS have taken down two top 25 teams (crushed No. 25 Kentucky) and have won three on the road.
And the streaks continue: Tennessee is 13-5 in the past 18 basketball games against Florida and the Gators head coach, Billy Donovan is gator bait when it comes to Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin having lost his third straight game to Martin’s VOLS. Talk about Chomp Chomp!
Florida fans try to use the “we didn’t have our top 3-point shooter and their most effective freshman, Michael Frazier II in the game.” I guess any excuse they come up with is better than trying to justify “jorts” being cool. You didn’t have Frazier for one game. Tennessee hasn’t had their best player Jeronne Maymon all season!
There’s no question that the key to the winning streak has been Tennessee’s defensive game. Big Man on Campus, Jarnell Stokes had 14 rebounds and dominated the boards against Florida. At one point Stokes went for the rebound against four Gators and Stokes ended up with the ball. They double teamed him all night to hold his scoring to only eight points, but that left Jordan McRae wide open to rack up 27 points. Tennessee out-rebounded Florida 41-31 and held the Gators to their lowest scoring game of the season.
From each win the VOLS get better and stronger. They are peaking at the perfect time of the season and if they could make free throws, then they could be a dark horse in this year’s bracket. Call me a biased UT fan, or just call me a college basketball fan watching ranked teams go down every week. It’s really anybody’s bracket to win right now and the way the VOLS are playing- they want everyone to be scared of ROCKY TOP!