Joe Lunardi was asked by a passionate Rece Davis to explain the Tennessee seeding snub, and how the NCAA Selection Committee viewed the SEC Tournament champion.

“I get the frustration,” the ESPN bracketologist said. “I absolutely knew it was going to shake out this way. Because these Sunday games, year after year after year after year don’t matter, in terms of selection and seeding.”

Davis then asked why the Saturday win over Kentucky didn’t seem to matter since both Auburn and Kentucky landed No. 2 seeds versus the Vols’ 3.

“I understand that, but we’re looking at a Tennessee team, they tied for second in the SEC (in the regular season). I just believe that the committee was not going to put them ahead of the Big East champion in Villanova. They were not going to put them ahead of Duke certainly, even though you could argue resume from now until next season, I don’t know. Everything on my board said they’re a 3, and I listened to you guys all day, and I kept thinking, that’s not going to happen, that’s not going to happen. And they certainly weren’t going to be a 1.”

Lunardi said the committee wouldn’t replace any of the 1 seeds for Tennessee, and then he said a 2 versus 3 argument is the difference in the color of the jersey in the regionals. Lunardi also said that Tennessee was about 20 percent behind Auburn and Kentucky on his board.

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Tennessee sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020. Tennessee was the first SEC state to legalize sports betting.