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If I Can 'Survive' Giving Dave Portnoy A God Awful Pick, Tennessee Twitter Is The Last Thing I'm Scared Of

I tweeted this out yesterday when I saw that Tennessee received a first place vote in the AP. Needless to say I disagree with that and was shocked to see anyone besides Duke or Kansas receive a first place vote. But, that’s not the point. Here’s what most people replied to me:

Needless to say I laugh at all these. I ‘survived’ giving Dave Portnoy – ever heard of him? – a just God awful pick. I was called a scumbag on a national TV show (tune in every Sunday to Barstool Sports Advisors). I was yelled at. I was told I should be fired – still a bit unsure if I was or not. You think I’m scared of Tennessee basketball twitter?

Shit, I’ve been threatened by way more impressive fan bases than Tennessee basketball twitter. But, let’s talk about Tennessee for a second. Yes, Tennessee is good. They are a top-10 team in the country. Thinking saying that is ‘sleeping on’ Tennessee somehow shows just how dumb fans are.

Here’s ultimately what I think about Tennessee. We know who they are. They return pretty much exactly the same team as last year and it’s not like they were all freshmen and sophomores. We know what to expect with their stars in Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. We know what to expect from their roleplayers. It’s not a surprise to see them do the same thing game in and game out.

How can anyone see Tennessee and then watch Duke/Kansas and think Tennessee is a better team? Now, the person who voted for them was John Feinstein – who also voted Tennessee as No. 1 before the season started. So I’m not going to rail on him too much. While I disagree with putting Tennessee at No. 1 in the preseason, not dropping them without a loss makes sense.

I do also think we saw the ceiling for Tennessee. If you believe analytics, it’s not exactly the best case for Tennessee. They finished 13th in KenPom last year and this year opened up at No. 11. That shows that ‘unbiased numbers’ believe that Tennessee is right around that tier 2 type team of somewhere in the top-15. They might peak in the top-10 in the backend, but most likely around the top-15 for the majority of the season. That’s a good thing! That’s not a knock on Tennessee.

Now, here’s my fear with Tennessee as a national title contender. Go look at every national champion. What’s the one thing they have in common? Multiple NBA players. The one team we always thought didn’t have that was 2016 Villanova. But, that turned into Brunson, DiVincenzo (redshirt), Arch, Ochefu, Hart and Bridges all in the NBA. Pretty good. Looking at DraftExpress and – Tennessee has just one player on the two lists. DraftExpress has Schofield as the No. 47 prospect. Do they have enough NBA talent to win the NCAA Tournament? It’s a legit question. Now, Grant Williams and Schofield are awesome college players. No doubt about that. Good enough to win the SEC. Good enough to compete for a Final Four. But, I do question about a national title.

So, Tennessee fans I’m not sleeping on your team by saying I’m shocked to see them get a No. 1 vote right now. I think you guys are good. I think Rick Barnes is doing just an absolute unreal job since he took over there. I never expected him to turn Tennessee into this. Just know that I’m ready for Vol Twitter.