Tennessee is good. Really good, sometimes. But the Vols are undeniably flawed relative to most other teams at the tip-top of the sport, and that was on full display again Wednesday night when they lost by double-digits to a Florida squad that entered with nine losses and zero victories over schools ranked in the top 45 of the NET.
Final score: Florida 67, Tennessee 54.
It was the third time this season UT has lost as at least a 5.5-point favorite.
The Vols' first goofy loss was as a 16-point favorite in Nashville against a Colorado team that is now 4-8 in the Pac-12. Their second goofy loss was as a 11.5-point favorite at home against a Kentucky team that is otherwise 2-3 on the road with zero wins over schools ranked in the top 105 of the NET. Their third goofy loss came Wednesday night as a 5.5-point road favorite against a Florida team that entered with a 1-7 record in Quadrant-1 opportunities.
These are all facts. It's why the Vols' body of work has never lined up, and still doesn't line up, with how much the predictive metrics love them (even if some UT fans seem too confused on the topic to recognize the difference between the two things).
The main issue is on offense.
Tennessee shot 25.4% from the field vs. Colorado, 14.3% from 3-point range vs. Kentucky and 27.9% from the field vs. Florida. Too often, the Vols struggle to score points, which creates situations where even their top-ranked defense isn't enough to avoid head-scratching defeats. On that note, consider that Tennessee now has three losses to teams ranked outside of the top 30 of the NET.
That's why UT is down to No. 10 in Thursday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Three losses to sub-30 NET teams is a lot for a top-10 team at this point in the season — evidence being that No. 1 Purdue, No. 4 Kansas and No. 5 Texas have zero such losses; No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Houston, No. 7 Kansas State and No. 8 UCLA have just one such loss; No. 9 Virginia has just two. The only other school besides Tennessee in the top 10 of Thursday's Top 25 And 1 with three losses to sub-30 NET teams is No. 6 Arizona. However, Tommy Lloyd's Wildcats have seven Q1 wins (compared to the Vols' four Q1 wins) to help offset their problematic loss-column -- among them a 75-70 victory over Tennessee.
Another thing worth noting is that Tennessee is the only school in the top 10 of the Top 25 And 1 that doesn't at least rank in the top 35 of both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. The Vols' are now 41st in adjusted offensive efficiency, which is eight spots lower than any other team in the top 10 of the Top 25 And 1.
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Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Zach Edey finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds in Wednesday's 80-60 win over Penn State. The Boilermakers' next game is Saturday at Indiana.||--||29-6|
|Brandon Miller finished with 22 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday's 101-44 win over Vanderbilt. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday at LSU.||--||31-6|
|Jarace Walker finished with 25 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 75-69 win over Cincinnati. The Cougars' next game is Thursday at Wichita State.||--||33-4|
|Jalen Wilson finished with 20 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday's 90-78 win over Kansas State. The Jayhawks' next game is Saturday at Iowa State.||1||28-8|
|Timmy Allen finished with 18 points and six rebounds in Monday's 76-71 win over Baylor. The Longhorns' next game is Saturday at Kansas State.||1||29-9|
|Azuolas Tubelis finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 95-72 win at Washington. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday against Oregon.||1||28-7|
|Kansas State shot below 34% from the field in Tuesday's 90-78 loss at Kansas. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Texas.||1||26-10|
|UCLA nearly allowed the Trojans to shoot 50% from the field in Thursday's 77-64 loss at USC. The Bruins' next game is Thursday against Washington.||1||31-6|
|Jayden Gardner finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 67-62 win at Syracuse. The Cavaliers' next game is Saturday at Virginia Tech.||1||25-8|
|Tennessee missed 20 of the 25 3-pointers it attempted in Wednesday's 67-54 loss at Florida. The Vols' next game is Saturday against Auburn.||6||25-11|
|Iowa State squandered a 23-point lead in Monday's 80-77 overtime loss at Texas Tech. The Cyclones' next game is Saturday against Kansas.||--||19-14|
|Baylor missed 18 of the 26 3-pointers it attempted in Monday's 76-71 loss at Texas. The Bears' next game is Saturday against Texas Tech.||--||23-11|
|Jack Nunge finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds in Wednesday's 85-83 overtime win over Providence. The Musketeers' next game is Saturday against St. John's.||--||27-10|
|Tyler Kolek finished with 20 points and six assists in Wednesday's 73-64 win over Villanova. The Golden Eagles' next game is Saturday against Butler.||--||29-7|
|Julian Strawther finished with 40 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 82-67 win at Portland. The Zags' next game is Thursday against Santa Clara.||--||31-6|
|Damian Baugh finished with 16 points and 10 assists in Tuesday's 76-72 win over West Virginia. The Horned Frogs' next game is Saturday at Oklahoma State.||--||22-13|
|Bryce Hopkins finished 3 of 14 from the field in Wednesday's 85-83covertime loss at Xavier. The Friars' next game is Wednesday against Georgetown.||--||21-12|
|Brandon Weatherspoon finished with 14 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 70-63 win over Western Kentucky. The Owls' next game is Thursday at UAB.||--||35-3|
|Terquavion Smith finished with 32 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 94-66 win over Florida State. The Wolfpack's next game is Saturday against Georgia Tech.||--||23-11|
|Logan Johnson finished with 14 points and three rebounds in Saturday's 57-56 win at BYU. The Gaels' next game is Thursday against San Francisco.||--||27-8|
|Max Rice finished with 22 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday's 59-52 win at Air Force. The Broncos' next game is Friday at San Diego State.||--||24-10|
|Norchad Omier finished with 21 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday's 91-83 win over Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes' next game is Saturday at Clemson.||--||29-7|
|Kendric Davis finished with 26 points and five assists in Sunday's 80-68 win at Tulsa. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against Tulane.||--||26-9|
|Johni Broome finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds in Wednesday's 94-73 win over Georgia. The Tigers' next game is Saturday at Tennessee.||--||21-13|
|Jordan Hawkins finished with 26 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 90-76 win at DePaul. The Huskies' next game is Saturday at Georgetown.||--||29-8|
|Kobe Brown finished with 26 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday's 87-77 win over LSU. The Tigers' next game is Saturday at Mississippi State.||--||25-10|