RECAP: Tennessee basketball victory over Wright State in NCAA Tournament (March 15, 2018)

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DALLAS — Tennessee basketball is moving on to the Round of 32 after dominating Wright State on Thursday in Dallas.

The No. 3-seeded Vols (26-8) led by double digits throughout the second half en route to the 73-47 win over the Raiders (26-9) at American Airlines Center in the South Regional

Tennessee will play the winner of Thursday’s game between No. 6-seed Miami and No. 11-seed Loyola-Chicago on Saturday at a time to be released later.

RELATED: 3 things from Tennessee’s blowout win over Wright State

It’s Tennessee first trip to the NCAA Tournament in four years, and the Vols appear ready to make the most of it.

There was  healthy number of Tennessee fans in the audience, the Rocky Top shade of orange in each corner of the arena, at least 1,500 strong.

Those in attendance, including new Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer, watched Tennessee get the better of Wright State on the boards by a 44-32 count.

“Offensively, once we settled in, we were able to get things going,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “We were pretty good defensively today.”

Lamonte Turner scored a game-high 19 points for the Vols, and Admiral Schofield had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

“The biggest thing for us was executing the scouting report to a ‘T’ on defense,” Schofield said, “and offensively just letting our offense flow.”

Tennessee 61, Wright State 38, 3:58: Lamonte Turner has 15 points to pace three Vols in double figures. Admiral Schofield has 13 points and Grant Williams has 12 with Tennessee pulling away.

Tennessee 25, Wright State 17, 3:39: Admiral Schofield leads the Vols with seven points, and Grant Benzinger has five for the Raiders.

Appropriate the two team leaders are leading the scoring.

Tennessee had built a 21-8 lead by holding Wright State scoreless for more than six minutes.

Tennessee opened 0-for-6 from the floor, Wright State 0-for-3, before Admiral Schofield hit a 3-pointer to give the Vols their first lead at 3-2 at 16:42 mark.

Tennessee basketball tips off at 12:40 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, March 15 against Wright State in the NCAA Tournament South Region.

Readers are encouraged to comment at the bottom and find live updates and scoring updates here along with analysis from courtside at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

12:10 p.m.: Thirty minutes before the tip, the Vols are on the floor and ready to roll. A mild presence of orange in the arena, we’ll see if more arrive soon.

 

Tennessee basketball vs. Wright State game time, info

  • Time: Tipoff is at 12:40 p.m. ET, March 14, 2018
  • Location: America Airlines Center, Dallas
  • Records: No. 3 seed Tennessee 25-8; No. 14 seed Wright State 25-9
  • Television: The game can be seen on TruTV

Tennessee basketball vs. Wright State preview

More than a year of hard work — early morning runs, grueling weightlifting sessions, practices filled with barking coaches — has led to this for the Tennessee basketball program.

The Vols are a 13-point favorite in this NCAA Tournament first-round South Regional contest, but the game is played on hardwood, not paper.

The excitement in Knoxville has carried across the country to UT alumni groups from coast to coast.

RELATED: Tennessee basketball Elite 8 run is realistic

Tennessee basketball is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years, an SEC co-champion and South Regional No. 3 seed.

The Vols (25-8) have a worthy opponent in No. 14 seed Wright State, a program that won a school record 25 games and the Horizon League Tournament.

Tennessee basketball mood

Tennessee players appeared loose and giddy at American Airlines Center during their Wednesday shoot around and media sessions.

A slick “Don’t Pick Us” video surfaced earlier in the day, and the Vols seemed to enjoy their ability to play the underdog role even as a 13-point favorite.

The Raiders, meanwhile, stated their case for why they will win.

It was an interesting twist leading into today’s game, the favorites acting like underdogs, and the underdogs presenting themselves as favorites.

RELATED: Wright State star explains why Raiders believe they’ll beat Tennessee

RELATED: Tennessee arrives in Dallas with chip on shoulder, ‘don’t pick us’ video

Tennessee basketball game plan

Tennessee has more depth and talent than Wright State, and the Raiders have no match for the athleticism and power SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams and All-SEC tourney selection Admiral Schofield bring to the front court.

The Vols’ plan is to pressure the ball and shutdown Wright State star Grant Benzinger, using their depth to wear down the Horizon League Tournament champs.

The Raiders say they’ll plan man-to-man the entire game, and they believe they have the matchups slow Tennessee in the lane and force the Vols to take ill-advised jumpers.

RELATED: Horizon League coaches provide detailed scouting report on Wright State starters

Ultimately, it could come down to which team handles the big stage better.

 

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