Day one of the big dance: Tennessee wins NCAA opener, routs Wright State 73-47

Tennessee forwards Grant Williams (2) and Admiral Schofield (5) combine to strip the ball away from Wright State forward Everett Winchester (2) in the second half of a first-round game at the NCAA college basketball tournament in Dallas, Thursday, March 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The Vols have defeated Wright State 73-47, advancing to Round 2 of the NCAA tournament!

Admiral Schofield had 15 points and 12 rebounds as Tennessee advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 73-47 win over Wright State with coach Rick Barnes back in familiar territory Thursday.

Lamonte Turner had 19 points and a career-high nine assists for Tennessee (26-8), SEC co-champions in the regular season after being picked in the preseason to finish 13th in the 14-team league. Grant Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds.

The Volunteers never had much trouble with the Horizon League tournament champ making its first NCAA appearance since 2007, even after missing their first six shots in the game. The Vols led 3-2 when Schofield made a 3-pointer with 16:42 left, and Wright State (25-10) went back ahead on the next possession before Jordan Bowden's layup put the Vols up for good.

Barnes is 5-0 in NCAA Tournament games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, about a three-hour drive from the University of Texas. He led the Longhorns to 16 appearances in 17 years, with four NCAA wins in the home arena of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, before switching "Ts" and shades of orange three years ago.

It was Barnes' 100th Volunteer game, and 57th win. The Vols are the No. 3 seed in the South Region.

Loudon Love led Wright State with 12 points and nine rebounds. Everett Winchester had 11 points for the Raiders, who shot only 31 percent (19 of 60) in their lowest-scoring game of the season.

Vols fans and the team are taking to social media to express their excitement:


Wright State: The Raiders finished the season with 25 wins, their most playing a Division I schedule. They are 0-3 in NCAA Tournament games. ... Grant Benzinger, their leading scorer at 14.5 points per game and the MVP of the Horizon League tournament, had only five points on 2-of-16 shooting, 1-of-9 on 3-pointers.

Tennessee: This is the third different program that Barnes has led to at least one NCAA victory. He also won tournament games at Clemson and Texas. ... It as the Vols' 14th win away from home this season.

UP NEXT: While the season is over for Wright State, Tennessee is back in the AAC on Saturday to play Miami or Loyola-Chicago.

DID YOU KNOW: Barnes is the 13th coach to lead four programs to the NCAA Tournament (one of seven active coaches). He went three times each at Providence and Clemson before taking the Texas job. Barnes has made six trips to the Sweet 16 (one Clemson, five Texas) and three to the Elite Eight (all with Texas).

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