Florida, the defending NCAA champions lost 2 in a row coming in and were 'angry' and focused for this one. Pat Summitt (UT women's coach, 940 career wins) came out as a cheerleader during the first TV timeout and cheered the men's team on.
Whatever it was, it worked. UT dominated the game, at one point were up 25 and if they could hit some free throws (20-31 I believe) they'd have walked out early. As it was, the gators went down 10 and saw their stock in the NCAA's slip. Tennessee's of course will go up and if they can close out on the road against Georgia this weekend, win at least one in the SEC tourney, then they may look at a 5 seed.
SEVENTH-LARGEST ARENA CROWN SEES VOLS DEFEAT NO. 5 FLORIDA, 86-76Also note the home record... last time perfect was the Bernie and Ernie show in '76.
Feb. 27, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Chris Lofton scored 21 points, and Tennessee pulled away from No. 5 Florida in the first half and held on for an 86-76 victory Tuesday night.
The Gators (25-5, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) continued a troubling trend for the defending national champions, who have lost three of four after a 17-game winning streak. Their chances for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament are slipping away after easily wrapping up the SEC regular-season title last week.
But this was the Volunteers' night.
With Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt dressing as a cheerleader and singing "Rocky Top" and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning watching his alma mater, Tennessee (21-9, 9-6) finished the season 16-0 at home. (link)
Reason to cheer!