NCAA Tournament: Tennessee defeats Louisiana in first round
No. 4 seed Tennessee (24-10, 11-7) outlasted No. 13 Louisiana (26-8, 13-5), 58-55, in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament Thursday at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
The Vols, who held a 30-19 lead at halftime as Uros Plavsic pushed the adv advantage to double figures with a layup on the final play before halftime.
Tennessee led by as many as 18 points in the second half but the Ragin’ Cajuns battled back to pull within, 56-53, in the waning seconds of the contest.
The Vols would hold off Louisiana, the Sun Belt Conference Tournament champion.
Tennessee had an 11-point lead at halftime despite committing 12 turnovers over the first 20 minutes.
Tyreke Key led the Vols with 12 points, coming off the bench. He also totaled four rebounds.
Jahmai Mashack scored 11 points. Plavsic had nine points, including seven before halftime. Josiah-Jordan James recorded eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
Center Jordan Brown had 16 points to lead the Ragin’ Cajuns.
The Vols advance to play Duke (27-8, 14-6 ACC) Saturday.
The Blue Devils defeated Oral Roberts (30-5, 18-0 Summit League), 74-51 Thursday.