Volunteers A Tourney ‘Dark Horse,’ Says Clark Kellogg

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Hey, who knows? Maybe the glass slipper will fit Tennessee in every underdog’s quest to the be this year’s NCAA Tournament Cinderella.

CBS analyst Clark Kellogg is one man who thinks the Volunteers at least have a chance. Kellogg referred to Coach Rick Barnes’ bunch as a “dark horse” after the brackets were revealed Sunday. Tennessee is a No. 5 seed and opens against 12th-seeded Oregon State on Friday.

“They’ve been up and down, kind of vacillating,” Kellogg said of the Volunteers on the CBS broadcast. “But when they’ve been good, they’ve been really good. They might find that rhythm moving forward.”

Should Tennessee (18-8) get past Oregon State (17-12), it would square off with either No. 3 Oklahoma State (20-8) or No. 14 Liberty (23-5) in the second round. The Cowboys, of course, feature potential top NBA Draft pick Cade Cunningham.

But all the focus is on Oregon State at the moment. And the Beavers (17-12) are particularly hot — having surprised their way to the Pac-12 Tourney title.

Meanwhile, the status of Volunteers senior forward John Fulkerson is still up in the air after he underwent facial surgery. Fulkerson took two quick blows to the head from Florida big man Omar Payne during the SEC Tournament. Payne later contacted to Fulkerson, and two are now on good terms, Fulkerson indicated.

Tennessee-Oregon State is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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