Finishing futility

Eight times this season the Tennessee Vols have gone to their last possession of regulation with a chance to win or tie. Their record in these games is, in a word, dreadful.

Try 2 and 6.

Saturday's 61-60 loss at Florida was merely the latest example of the Vols' late-game futility. Heck, one of their two late-game successes occurred only because they made a putback after their set play produced an air ball.

For those with strong stomachs, here's a recap of the Vols' last-possession games to date:

Game 9 at Charlotte: Tennessee has a chance to expand a 48-47 lead but Melvin Goins misses a 1-and-1 with 19.5 seconds left. Charlotte scores the go-ahead bucket with 7.4 seconds left, then Cameron Tatum misses badly on a 35-foot desperation shot at the buzzer in a 49-48 loss. Charlotte winds up outscoring UT 7-0 over the final 2:10.

Game 10 vs. Southern Cal: Down 65-64, Tennessee rebounds a USC miss and calls timeout with 3.5 seconds left. Tobias Harris misses a rushed 25-footer from the right wing at the buzzer. The Trojans win by outscoring UT 9-6 over the final 4:45.

Game 11 vs. Belmont: Up 62-56 with 2:47 left, the Vols are outscored 9-2 and trail 65-64 with 18.1 seconds left. Scotty Hopson scores on a drive with 0:05.7 left, however, and Belmont misses a 3 at the buzzer. Vols win, 66-65.

Game 15 at Arkansas: Down 68-65 following a Razorback free throw with 19 seconds left, Tennessee gets the ball to Tobias Harris, who misses a 3 from the right corner at the buzzer. The Vols manage to outscore the Hogs 10-4 over the final 3:10 but still lose.

Game 16 vs. Florida: Down 64-58 with 5:30 left, Tennessee rallies to pull even at 68-68. The Vols rebound a missed Gator free throw with 42 seconds left and get the ball inside to Brian Williams, whose 4-foot shot is blocked by Alex Tyus. Florida misses at the buzzer but wins 81-75 in overtime.

Game 18 at Georgia: Up 57-54 with 1:30 left, the Vols allow the Dawgs to make a 3-pointer that ties the score with 1:01 remaining. Scotty Hopson misses an inside shot but Tennessee gets the loose ball and sets up another play. Tobias Harris shoots an air ball from the left corner but Brian Williams rebounds and sinks an 8-footer at the buzzer for a 59-57 win.

Game 23 vs. Alabama: Down 55-49 with 4:00 left, Tennessee uses a 6-0 spurt to tie the score at 55-all. After forcing an Alabama turnover with 17.1 seconds left, the Vols call time with 12.1 seconds left. Melvin Goins misses a 3-pointer and Brian Williams misses a tip just before the buzzer. Bama wins 65-60 in overtime.

Game 25 at Florida: Down 59-56 with 2:10 remaining, Tennessee moves ahead 60-59 with 53.9 seconds left. Cameron Tatum misses the front end of a one-and-one with 25.5 seconds to go, then Florida scores to take a one-point lead with 14.7 left. Melvin Goins misses a 3 just before the buzzer, and Florida wins 61-60.

All told, Tennessee went 2 for 10 from the field in those eight last-possession situations. Here's a quick recap:

- Cameron Tatum misses a 35-footer at Charlotte

- Tobias Harris misses a 25-footer vs. Southern Cal

- Scotty Hopson scores on a drive vs. Belmont

- Tobias Harris misses a 3 from the right corner at Arkansas

- Brian Williams has his 4-footer blocked vs. Florida

- Tobias Harris misses from the left corner at Georgia but Brian Williams scores on the putback

- Melvin Goins misses a 3-pointer and Brian Williams misses a tip vs. Alabama

- Melvin Goins misses a 3-pointer at Florida

Inside Tennessee Top Stories