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Close losses hurting Vols' NCAA tourney hopes

By news admin

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Near misses are becoming all too common for Tennessee.

After falling just short of the NCAA tournament each of the past two years, Tennessee (16-11, 7-7 SEC) could fail to earn a bid again because of its inability to win close games. Tennessee enters Wednesday's game at Mississippi State (13-14, 3-11) holding a 2-10 record in games with single-digit margins and an 0-5 mark in matchups decided by five points or fewer.

The pattern continued Saturday with a 68-65 overtime loss at Texas A&M that increased speculation regarding the future of Volunteers coach Cuonzo Martin.

Tennessee made six straight NCAA tournament appearances before Martin's arrival. The Vols reached the NIT each of Martin's first two seasons. Martin said he doesn't "waste time and energy" worrying about his job security.
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