The Vols are making their 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Big Orange owns a 19-20 (.487) NCAA Tournament record.
With the win, Tennessee will play in the Sweet 16 (Regional Semifinals) for the seventh time in school history. They previously played in the Sweet 16 in 1967, 1981, 2000, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
This is the second time Tennessee has won three NCAA Tournament games in the same season. The Vols won three games to reach the Elite Eight in 2010.
Three previous times in history an 11 seed has played a 14 seed since the tournament expanded in 1985. All three previous times saw the 11 seed win:
- 1998 East Region (11 Washington defeated 14 Richmond)
- 1991 Midwest Region (11 Connecticut defeated 14 Xavier)
- 1989 East Region (11 Minnesota defeated 14 Siena)
Coming into this game, an 11 seed has advanced to the `Sweet Sixteen' 15 times out of 45 attempts.
The Vols are 11-6 in first-round games, 6-7 in second-round games, 1-0 in the third round, 1-5 in regional semifinals, 0-1 in regional finals and 0-1 in the now-defunct regional consolation round.
This is the program's seventh NCAA berth in the last nine years and its first under third-year head coach Cuonzo Martin.
Tennessee's 20 NCAA Tournament berths tie LSU for fourth-most among SEC teams.
In the last 10 years (2004-2013), among SEC programs, only Florida (23) and Kentucky (20) have won more NCAA Tournament games than Tennessee (11).
This was Cuonzo Martin's third NCAA Tournament win as a head coach against no losses.
Cuonzo Martin is the fourth Tennessee coach to win an NCAA Tournament game (joining Don DeVoe, Jerry Green and Bruce Pearl).
The Vols have never previously competed as an 11 seed in their 19 previous NCAA appearances.
VOLS VS. MERCER
Tennessee is now 2-4 all-time against Mercer. That includes last season's NIT match-up where the Bears upset the Vols, 75-67 in Knoxville on March 20, 2013. The Vols only other win in the series came on Dec. 28, 1993 in Knoxville.
Mercer won three games vs. Tennessee fem 1913-24.
SEC, SEC, SEC
With the Vols win along with Kentucky on Sunday, the SEC is now 7-0 in the NCAA Tournament. Overall including the NIT and CBI, the league is 12-1.
Antonio Barton started for the ninth game in a row after coming off the bench for eight games in a row. He made his 27th start of the season, in his only season as a Vol.
Stokes made his 78th consecutive start, dating to February of 2012. He has started 83 of his 86 career games.
McRae has started all 36 games this season along with Stokes. In his career, McRae has 73 career starts.
TENNESSEE NCAA RECORDS
Jarnell Stokes set a Tennessee record for rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game with 18. He had tied the record in the Second Round vs. UMass with 14. That was also accomplished by Isiah Victor in 1999 and set by Reggie Johnson in 2980.
THE LITTLE THINGS
The Vols shot 88.5 percent (23-of-26) from the free throw line. In three NCAA Tournament games, Tennessee is 72-of-87 from the charity stripe -- impressive 82.8 percent.
Over the last eight games, the Vols' defense has held foes to an average of 71 points per game.
The Tennessee defense held Mercer to 63 points, the 54th time in the last 66 games that the Vols have held their opponent to under-70 points dating to last season.
Only three opponents this season have scored at least 70 points with a season-high of 78 by UTEP.
Tennessee held UMass to a season-low of 22 points in the first half. It equalled the Minutemen's fewest points in any half this season (22 at Richmond).
Iowa was held to a season-low in first-half points with just 29. The Hawkeyes didn't score for the final 3:42 of the half.
Tennessee held UMass' top scorer Chaz Williams (15.8 ppg) to just 12 points. That came after holding Iowa's leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble (17.3 ppg) to just 7 points, -10 below his season average.
The Vols have been tremendous against some of the nation's scorers. Auburn's Chris Denson (19.9 ppg) was held to three points on March 5. Missouri's Jabari Brown (21.4 ppg) was limited to eight points on March 8.
STOKES DOING WORK!
Jarnell Stokes (17 points and 18 rebounds) posted his 22nd double-double of the year, tying Bernard King's school record in a single-season with 22 in 1976-77.
Stokes (17 points) has scored in double-figures 17 games in a row.
Stokes has scored in double-figures in 31 of 36 games this season.
Stokes has scored 20 or more points in 12 games.
Stokes now has 1,101+TODAY in his career up is #40 Fred Jenkins (1,139).
Stokes picked up his 40th career double-double in his 86 career games at Tennessee (45.9 percent of his games). That leads all active players in he SEC.
Stokes' 40 double-doubles are fourth on the all-time list at Tennessee. Gene Tormohlen is third with 50 in his career.
Stokes continued to add to his Tennessee career leading total of offensive rebounds with eight in the game. Stokes now has 335 in his career. Second on the list is Wayne Chism (302).
Stokes is fourth in the nation averaging 4.5 offensive rebounds per game.
RICH IN NCAA TOURNEY PLAY
Josh Richardson had his third consecutive NCAA Tournament game in double-figures with a career-high 29. He had 16 in the first half alone.
Richardson hit double-figures less than 13 minutes into the game vs. Mercer.
On the heels of his 17-point game vs. Iowa on Tuesday, Josh Richardson had 15 points vs. UMass.
Richardson now has 21 games this season in double-figures and 31 in his career.
McRAE SCORING BIG
Senior guard Jordan McRae finished with 14 points his 32nd double-digit performance of the season and his 16th in 17 games.
McRae has scored in double-figures in 69 of his 113 career games.
McRae is now 16th on the Tennessee career scoring list at 1,497 career points. Next on the list is Ron Slay with 1,569 points.