Just when you thought there wasn't much hope for a Vols tournament run, the committee goes and pairs the Vols with Michigan.
That is not to take Michigan lightly. Not at all.
If Tennessee fans have learned anything this season, it's that you can't take anyone lightly. USC, College of Charleston, Charlotte, Oakland, and Mississippi State are among the teams Tennessee should have handled with ease, yet each ended with a loss. Belmont and UT-Martin nearly escaped Knoxville with wins of their own.
So, nothing is a given with this Tennessee team.
But the matchup with Michigan is just enough to whet the appetite of the most pessimistic Vols fan.
Tennessee looked like it had found its way against Arkansas before another near-meltdown let the Razorbacks into the game late. Tennessee won that first round game but then was outmanned by Florida in the SEC tournament quarterfinals last week.
Michigan played a similarly tough non-conference schedule, but did not come up with the big wins that Tennessee did early this season.
Still, the Wolverines only lost by a combined eight points at Duke and against UConn on a neutral floor.
Speaking of Duke, Tennessee might just be the one team that Duke doesn't want to face in a potential second round 1 vs. 9 matchup.
The Vols match up well with just about any team in America, but lackluster play and almost zero focus has blindsided the Vols numerous times this season.
The bottom line for the Vols is Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris. Those two are the offensive creators for Tennessee. The star freshman, Harris, has picked up some of Hopson's slack recently, but the Vols must have production from the junior to go anywhere this March.
The time to heat up is now. If both Hopson and Harris show up this weekend, the Vols will be dancing a lot longer than expected.