Game 34: Vols Open NCAA Tournament Play Against Oklahoma State
The Vols are No. 9 Seed in the East Region
- Tennessee is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season and the eighth time in 12
years. In 17 seasons as a head coach, this is coach Bruce Pearl's 15th NCAA Tournament appearance.
- In its last outing, Tennessee lost to Mississippi State 64-61 in the SEC Tournament Championship
Game. It was UT's first championship game appearance since 1991.
- With its SEC Tournament quarterfinal victory over Alabama on March 13, Tennessee posted its fourth
straight 20-win campaign and its 22nd all-time 20-win season. Coach Bruce Pearl has now led his teams
to seven straight 20-win seasons.
- Tennessee under coach Bruce Pearl owns a 5-3 (.625) record in the NCAA Tournament.
- Bruce Pearl enters the NCAA Tournament two victories shy of logging his 100th win at Tennessee.
- This is the third time in Bruce Pearl's four seasons at Tennessee that the Vols will face Oklahoma State.
The Vols lost to the Cowboys 89-73 in Oklahoma City on Dec. 22, 2005, and later beat OSU 79-77 in
Nashville, on Dec. 18, 2006. Those are the only two meetings between the programs.
- For the third straight season, Tennessee ranked fourth nationally in average attendance (20,483). The
Vols drew 10 crowds of at least 20,000 this season and have drawn 30 such crowds since 2005-06.
- The Vols swept four of five divisional opponents for the third time since the SEC went to divisional
play (1999, 2006). Tennessee swept Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt this season.
- Tennessee is the only team in the storied, 76-year history of the Southeastern Conference to finish the
regular season with a better SEC record than Kentucky for four straight years.
- 2008-09 marks Tennessee's 100th season of varsity
basketball. The season-long centennial celebration
included the selection of a Tennessee Basketball All-
Century Team, which was honored Feb. 14.
- Tennessee has an all-time record of 1,442-920-2 in
100 seasons of basketball.
- Tennessee's 46 regular-season SEC wins over the
past four seasons are the most among all league teams.
- In all eight of his seasons as a Division I head
coach, Bruce Pearl's teams have won at least 10
games in conference play.
- Tennessee's 78.5 points per game rank second the
SEC this year (19th nationally). Bruce Pearl's teams
have led their respective league in scoring in 15 of
Pearl's 16 full seasons as a head coach. South
Carolina's 78.7 ppg currently lead the conference.
- Tennessee is the top offensive rebounding team in
the SEC, averaging 14.4 per game.
- UT's 16.3 assists per game rank 17th nationally
among Division I teams and second in the SEC.
- Bobby Maze (1.9), Tyler Smith (1.6) and J.P.
Prince (1.5) each rank among the top eight in the
SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Tyler Smith (3.4), Bobby Maze (3.2) and J.P.
Prince (3.2) each rank among the top 11 in the SEC
in assists per game.
- Junior wing J.P. Prince had a team-high 59 assists
in SEC play. He averaged 3.7 apg in SEC play to
rank sixth in the league.
- Prince also shot a stellar .629 (61-of-97) from the
floor in SEC play this season.
- The Vols are 20-1 this season when they shoot a
higher percentage than their opponent.
- Tennessee is 20-6 this season when it holds its
opponent under 80 points. The Vols are 1-6 when the
opposition scores 80 or more.
- The Vols are 28-2 in non-conference home games
under Bruce Pearl.
- Under Bruce Pearl, UT is 91-9 when leading or
tied with five minutes left in the game.
- UT is 62-6 when scoring 80 or more points under
the direction of Bruce Pearl.
- Bruce Pearl is 18-10 against ranked teams at UT.
- Tennessee is 55-7 at Thompson-Boling Arena
since the start of the 2005-06 season.
- UT's 644 regular-season SEC victories rank third
all-time in the SEC. Only Kentucky and Alabama
have won more league games.
- Tennessee is 255-91 in 22 seasons in Thompson-
Boling Arena. The Vols have posted winning home
records in 18 of their 21 full seasons in the facility.
Tennessee In The NCAA Tournament
The Vols are making their 17th all-time appearance in
the NCAA Tournament ... It is their fourth straight
appearance and their eighth in the last 12 years ...
Tennessee has a 13-17 all-time record in the NCAA
The Vols are 9-6 all-time in the first round of the
NCAA Tournament and have won each of their last
three first-round games.
Volunteers Boast The SEC's Longest Active Streak Of NCAA Tournament Bids
The Vols now have the longest active NCAA
Tournament streak in the Southeastern Conference,
earning its fourth consecutive bid under coach Bruce
Pearl ... Kentucky's streak of 16 consecutive appearances
was snapped this season ... Tennessee's longest
NCAA Tournament streak is five seasons from 1979-
83 ... UT previously went to the tournament four consecutive
times from 1998-2001.
Bruce Pearl In The NCAA Tournament
has now led his team to the NCAA
Tournament for the 15th time in 17 years as a head
coach ... Pearl owns a 23-13 career record in the
NCAA Tournament ... He led Southern Indiana to a
16-8 NCAA Tournament record that included an
NCAA Division II national championship in 1995
and a runner-up finish in 1994 ... He has a 7-5 record
in NCAA Division I Tournaments ... Pearl has led his
team to the round of 16 in three of the last the last
four years ... In 2005, he directed UW-Milwaukee to
the Sweet 16 and repeated the feat each of the last
two years with Tennessee.
Tennessee In The 8/9 Game
Friday marks the sixth time in its NCAA Tournament
history that Tennessee has played in the 8/9 game ...
The Vols are 3-2 all-time in that first-round game ...
In 1982, UT's only other tournament as a No. 9 seed,
the Vols defeated No. 8 seed Southwestern Louisiana,
61-57 ... The Big Orange have been the No. 8 seed
four times, winning the first-round game against the
No. 9 seed twice ... The Vols defeated Eastern
Kentucky 97-81 in 1979 and Marquette, 57-56 in
1983 as a No. 8 seed ... UT lost to Illinois State 82-
81 in overtime in 1998 and also lost to Charlotte 70-
63 in a game played at University of Dayton Arena in
The Big Orange In The "Gem City"
Tennessee has played three previous games in
Dayton, Ohio, including two at the University of
Dayton Arena ... The Vols have a 1-2 all-time record
in the "Gem City" ... UT first played in Dayton on
Dec. 21, 1950, losing to the Dayton Flyers 76-61 in
the University of Dayton Fieldhouse ... The Vols
returned in 1992 and played the Flyers in Dayton
Arena, winning 77-61 ... UT's last trip to Dayton
came during the 2001 NCAA Tournament where,
coincidently, the Vols played in the 8/9 game, dropping
a 70-63 decision to No. 9 seed Charlotte.
Schedule Builds Tournament Preparedness
One third of Tennessee's games entering the NCAA
Tournament (11 of 33) were played against teams
who earned bids to the Big Dance ... Thos teams are
Chattanooga, Gonzaga (twice), Kansas, LSU,
Marquette, Memphis, Mississippi State (twice),
Siena and Temple ... The Vols went 4-7 in those
games, and those nine NCAA Tournament teams
boast an average seed of No. 8 ... Entering March
Madness, UT has faced six conference regular-season champions (Kansas, Big 12; Memphis, C-USA;
Siena, MAAC; UT Martin, OVC; LSU, SEC;
Gonzaga, WCC) and six conference tournament
champions (Temple, A-10; Memphis, C-USA; Siena,
MAAC; Chattanooga, Southern; Mississippi State,
SEC; Gonzaga, WCC).
Tennessee-Oklahoma State Notes
Both schools are celebrating their 100th season of
men's basketball ... Tennessee owns a 14-14 all-time
record against current members of the Big 12
Conference, including a 3-2 mark under coach Bruce
Pearl ... Third-year UT assistant coach Steve Forbes
spent two seasons in the Big 12 at Texas A&M before
coming to Tennessee ... Cowboys assistant coach
served as an assistant coach at
Tennessee for eight seasons from 1997-2005 under
head coaches Jerry Green and Buzz Peterson
the title of associate head coach his final two seasons
on Rocky Top) ... Ferguson was on the UT sideline
the last time the Vols played in University of Dayton
Arena (2001 NCAA Tournament) ... First-year OSU
assistant Butch Pierre also is quite familiar with SEC
hoops, having spent 11 seasons at LSU, including six
as the associate head coach (and a portion of last season
as interim head coach, going 5-5) ... Tennessee
junior point guard Bobby Maze
played at Oklahoma
as a freshman in 2006-07 and helped lead the
Sooners to a season split with the Cowboys ... UT
and OSU each participated in the 2008 Old Spice
Classic in Orlando, Fla., earlier this season, though
the teams never squared off against one another ...
The Cowboys went 1-2 at that tournament, while
Tennessee went 2-1 and finished as runner-up ...
Against common opponents this season (Gonzaga,
Kansas and Siena), Tennessee went 1-3 and
Oklahoma State went 1-2 ... Oklahoma State is No.
19 in the official NCAA RPI, and Tennessee is No.
The Last Clash With Oklahoma State
Senior Dane Bradshaw's
tip-in with 1.9 seconds gave
Tennessee a 79-77 win over the 15th-ranked
Cowboys on Dec. 18, 2006, and ended Oklahoma
State's 11-game winning streak to open the 2005-06
season ... Bradshaw caused UT's final possession
with a steal with less than 20 seconds remaining ...
The Vols opened the game with a 16-6 run, but the
Cowboys responded with an 11-0 rally to take a 17-
16 lead ... The two teams exchanged leads until OSU
finished the half on a 6-1 run to take a 43-37 advantage
into the locker room ... The Cowboys held their
lead through most of the second half until a
Bradshaw jumper with 6:29 left gave the Vols a 70-
69 edge ... There were six lead changes and three ties
over the final six minutes, 30 seconds of the game ...
Bradshaw gave the Vols a 75-74 lead on a free throw
with 2:55 left, and point guard Ramar Smith
UT's lead to three points with a basket with just
less than two minutes remaining ... Mario Boggan
was fouled while scoring at the other end of the court
and made the free throw to tie the score, setting up
Bradshaw's heroics ... In the second half, Oklahoma State was limited to just 15 field-goal attempts while
committing 14 of its 23 turnovers ... Chris Lofton
the Vols with 20 points, while freshman Duke Crews
had a career-high 17 points and nine rebounds ...
added 14 points to go with six steals ...
Bradshaw finished the game with seven points, four
rebounds, five assists and three steals ... Boggan led
OSU with 20 points despite sitting for nearly 10 minutes
in the second half because of foul trouble ...
Terrel Harris had 17 points and JamesOn Curry
added 13 ... The Cowboys shot 54.5 percent from the
field, while Tennessee shot just 41.8 percent from the
floor and 17.4 percent (4-of-23) from 3-point range
... UT held a 37-35 advantage on the boards and gathered
21 offensive rebounds ... Oklahoma State
entered the game as one of the final six unbeaten
teams in the nation.
Ford A Familiar Foe For UT Fans
The Vols have never played against a Travis Fordcoached
team but the Tennessee basketball program
is certainly familiar with the Cowboys' head coach ...
Ford played for SEC nemesis Kentucky for three seasons
(1991-94), compiling a 5-2 record against the
Vols during his playing career ... Ford has been a
Division I head coach for nine seasons now ... He
spent five seasons at Eastern Kentucky, three seasons
at Massachusetts and is completing his first season at
Oklahoma State ... The Vols did play Eastern
Kentucky the season after Ford left there to coach at
UMass (2005-06), defeating the Colonels 92-58 in
first year at UT.