KNOXVILLE (WATE) — The Tennessee basketball team will be well represented at the 2016 Final Four in Houston.
The Vols basketball team will not be in attendance, but the Vols managers will be. Tennessee’s managers play in a semi-organized managers league, and earlier this week won a voting contest on Twitter solidifying their spot to play for the National Championship in early April at the Final Four.
“If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that you’d have 22, or 23 thousand votes and be playing in Houston, I’d be like, that’s the crazies thing I’ve ever heard” said Vols manager Parker Eidson.
Tennessee’s Elite Eight voting came down to a match-up of the Vols and SEC foe Georgia. The Vols ended up winning the vote, but not without some tense moments. Both staffs received big boosts from some famous friends, former Georgia and current NFL running back Todd Gurley tweeting out his support for the Bulldogs:
While NBA superstar Kevin Durant, who played under Vols head coach Rick Barnes at Texas tweeted his support for the Vols:
“They ended up getting the Atlanta Hawks for them last minute. And so we were like ‘oh no, we got to get somebody else.’ The (Tennessee) Titans ended up tweeting the poll in the last minute, so we’re going to give the credit to the Titans for the last minute surge,” said Eidson.
The Vols will travel to the Final Four and compete against manager staffs from Iowa State, Michigan State and Kansas.
“It’s going to be tough” said Vols manager Garrett Carter. “The other teams seem to be pretty good. It’s going to take a lot to beat those teams.”
As for any coaching help, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said the players told him they didn’t need his help, and jokingly said he would have to pass if offered, “I couldn’t coach those guys,” said Barnes. “Too many attitudes too many egos. You got five very selfish guys, that just care about themselves and want to shoot the ball, so I hope they can overcome it.”
The manager games semifinals are scheduled to be held during the NCAA Fan Fest at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Friday, April 1