That was the only thing written on the dry erase board after the game. I’ve never, ever seen anything like that. 13-17. Really? How do you go from not allowing a team to score a field goal the last 6 minutes of the first half to that? Unbelievable, but yet, somehow, this year, it’s believable. This season, anything could happen.

No matter what you do or where you work, you either give energy, or you take it. There is no in-between. When we made our run, our second unit played with unbelievable energy and purpose. The multiple efforts; the stunts; the help we gave each other; the purpose. It was as though we had rewound to November, and it was so uplifting for all of us.

But then, but then, but then… I feel like somewhere in my blogs I am always having to write that dang phrase!But then everything came to a screeching halt for us, and Florida got back on a roll. As our offense struggled, theirs took off. They made shot after shot after shot because A) they are a really good basketball team full of very talented, tough players and, B) because that extra effort of ours was gone. I think we still gave good effort, but the urgency and the little things necessary to make them miss or turn them over wasn’t there by all five guys at all times. When we get those things from everyone who steps on the floor for us, we are very good. When we don’tthem, we are very average.

After discussing the game, Coach Pearl moved on to discussing the NCAA Tournament. He told the team that although he believes we are in, we still can’t be 100% certain. But with our strength of schedule, RPI, top-50 wins and decent record, we have to be in. Right? I guess we won’t know until Sunday. Until then, I’ll be thankful at the thought of the wins we have, frustrated at those we gave away and motivated by the thought of what I believe this team is still capable of achieving.

Thanks for all your support here in Atlanta, Vol Nation!




About Mark Pancratz's Blog

A native of Schaumburg, Ill., Mark Pancratz played Division I basketball at UW-Milwaukee, earning his degree in marketing and finance. He joined Tennessee's staff in 2006 as a graduate assistant, earning his master's degree in sports management later that year. Serving as a G.A., director of video scouting and assistant to the head coach, Pancratz was an integral part of Tennessee's six-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. At 26, Pancratz boasts an impressive 18 games of NCAA Tournament experience as a player and/or administrative staff member. He is a member of the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and voted one of the 100 Legends of Illinois High School Basketball. Pancratz resides in Knoxville and is married to the former Brooke Waddell.
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