Readers, columnist agree on Tennessee basketball inglorious exit from March Madness | Adams

My literary contributors were quick to respond to Tennessee’s Sweet 16 exit from the NCAA Tournament. And some of them didn’t sleep on it.

That’s understandable. How could a passionate fan sleep after watching the Vols sleep walk through an ugly loss to underdog Florida Atlantic at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night? Most agreed with my deadline analysis of UT’s dreadful showing.

Ed writes: Your column was spot on.

No offense, no movement on offense. Standing around looking for someone to pass to. Driving to the basket and them throwing it out 30 feet for a 3-point shot that doesn’t come.I believe the closer you are to the basket the more likely you are to put the ball through the rim

Lastly, a head coach walking the sidelines with his hands in his pockets, looking as confused (if not more so) as his players. Done!

My response: I usually edit out exclamation points from my fellow writers. But Ed’s exclamation point fits.

Tennessee players talk about dragging opponents into the “mud.” I suppose that’s a metaphor for their tight, rough-and tumble defense, which has made so many teams’ offense look ugly.

But against FAU, Tennessee often looked stuck in the mud on offense and defense while the quicker Owls zoomed around them at a dizzying pace.

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Ron writes: Good analysis.

My response: Thanks. But it could have been better if I hadn’t spent so much time crafting a “Vols win” column.

When you’re writing deadline columns, advance work is required so that you can file shortly after the game. I figured the Vols would win by double digits, and most of my work would be done before the final buzzer.


Wayne writes: Great analysis: It just seems to this non-expert that Tennessee does not have a player that can take over a game when the team is flailing around. Like Johnell Davis did for his team. Regular Season Rick.

My response: Tennessee does have players who can take over a game. They just don’t do it often enough.

Olivier Nkamhoua does it about once every five weeks.

He was dominant in Tennessee’s victory over Duke last week. And he would have been dominant again if the Vols season had extended into May.

Darryl writes: It’s been over a decade since the Lady Vols basketball team was relevant for postseason play. The UT Men’s basketball team has never been a factor in the Final 4.

I will apologize to both teams and all of the UT basketball fans if either team makes the Final 4 this season. I will offer to shave my head if both make the Final 4 and promise to vote for Biden if either UT basketball team can win a Championship this year.

How much more can any fan sacrifice for their team?

My response: You are willing to sacrifice your hair for your teams. That’s noble.

Hopefully, one more NCAA Tournament setback won’t dim your hopes of the Vols making the Final Four in yours or your children’s lifetime.

Instead of giving up, why not double down on your loyalty? Shave your head and paint a “4” on top. Leave it there until UT’s men’s team makes the Final Four.

You would be the talk of the town. For many years.

George writes: How many fouls did Tennessee have, and how many did Florida Atlantic have?

My response: UT was called for 18 fouls. FAU had 14.

The Vols would have had more, but they couldn’t catch up to the faster Owls to make contact.

Jerry writes: When it comes to the NCAA Tournament, Rick Barne$ is being paid to serve filet mignon, but all we are getting is round steak.

But even ground steak is expensive in New York. I sympathize with the UT fans who made trip.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or Follow him at:

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Readers agree on Tennessee basketball inglorious March Madness exit