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Vols know winning Saturday could help in March

Published On: Dec 13 2013 05:57:16 PM CST
Knoxville, Tenn. -

Tennessee is still seeking the type of non-conference win that could give its NCAA tournament hopes a major lift.
    
The Volunteers' next chance comes Saturday as they visit No. 12 Wichita State (9-0) in their first game against a Top 25 opponent.
    
Although Tennessee's 6-2 record looks good on the surface, a closer examination shows the Volunteers could use a high-profile non-conference win.
    
Tennessee lost its season opener 67-63 at Xavier, though the Vols won a rematch 64-49 last month. Tennessee also fell 78-70 to UTEP in the Battle 4 Atlantis, preventing a potential matchup with No. 10 Villanova or No. 13 Kansas later in the tournament.
    
The Vols need quality non-conference wins because the Southeastern Conference's only ranked teams are No. 11 Kentucky, No. 19 Florida and No. 24 Missouri.