Tennessee makes CBB fans sweat with narrow win over Louisiana at 2023 NCAA tournament | News, Results, Highlights, Stats and Rumours

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 16: Jahmai Mashack #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers reacts during the second half of the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at the Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Mike Ehrman/Getty Images

Tennessee advances to the second round of the men’s NCAA tournament. But the volunteers certainly didn’t make it easy for themselves.

The fourth-seeded Vols weathered a furious comeback attempt in Louisiana and held on to a 58-55 win. Tennessee led by 11 points at halftime and as much as 18 points in the second half, but Louisiana struggled to finish by just a three-point deficit.

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Tennessee was the definition of balance in that game, as none of the Volunteers scored more than Tyreke Keys for 12 points from the bench. Five Tennessee players had at least eight points in the win.

Tennessee Basketball @Vol_Hoops

BIG U beats the buzzer 🚨

Louisiana was led by Jordan Brown with 16 points and seven boards.

This was a standard performance in Tennessee. The Vols played excellent defense, holding Louisiana on 6-of-18 shots from three and forcing 15 turnovers. But the offense wasn’t pretty either, and college basketball fans didn’t exactly sing the school’s praises after the nervous win:

Ben Bobick @BenBobicLocal3

#Tennessee survived in the truest sense of the word and advanced into the 2nd round before a 58:55 victory #Louisiana.

The #Vols have a date with #Duke on Saturday in Orlando. Sweet 16 Winner@Local3Sports | #MarchMadness

Tennessee probably won’t make a deep run given their offense, but Thursday’s turnovers (18) and terrible perimeter shooting (4-of-16 of three) certainly didn’t help matters.

And things don’t get any easier when you have a red-hot duke waiting for you. The Blue Devils have won the ACC tournament, have a total of 10 straight games and won 13 of their last 15. Kyle Filipowski (15.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG) and Jeremy Roach (13.3 PPG) will give Tennessee all it can handle.

The Volunteers don’t have to be excellent on offense to win given how good their defense is. You just have to be competent and reduce turnover. If they can’t, however, Duke will roll them.

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