Tennessee was one of the last teams to make it into the NCAA tournament.
But the Vols are making the most of their invite, gaining a surprising berth in the Sweet 16.
Even though Tennessee was seeded 11th in the Big Dance, and they had to endure a play-in game, they still don't feel like a Cinderella team.
Said forward Jeronne Maymon,"There ain't really no story here. We are supposed to be here. We've got one of the best teams in the nation."
Coach Cuonzo Martin loves the way his team sucked it up during the regular season when they were on the Big Dance bubble.
Said Martin,"Luckily for our guys they stayed course, and they didn't get caught up in all the negativity. They continue to get better."
Added guard Jordan McRae,"We were ruled out a million times by ESPN reporters and sometimes our own reporters. Just to win this for our guys and our family is huge."
Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes have allowed Tennessee to win the rebounding battle in all three tournament games.
Said McRae,"Anytime you have Jeronne and Jarnell wearing Tennessee orange, we always feel like we have the advantage."
Said Stokes,"We always feel like we can control the boards. That's one thing going into the game that I try to make my imprint on."
Maybe Jeronne and Jarnell inside have opened the outside for Josh Richardson.
He tied a career high with 26 points against Mercer.
Said Richardson,"After I hit the first couple, I got a little bit more assertive on offense. I think my teammates did a good job recognizing it and getting me the ball."
Said McRae,"Even if he's not scoring at this level, his leadership has really picked up over the last eight or nine games. He has done a great job with his leadership skills, and his defense has gone to another level."
The Vols are feeling good to say the least, and Coach Martin says they're striking the right balance.
"Well they are loose when they need to be loose. But they understand to take care of the business at hand."
Tennessee will face Michigan in the Sweet 16 on Friday in Indianapolis. Tipoff is at 7:15, and it will be televised on WDEF News 12.