Historical precedent doesn't favor the Vols, either. Peterson's record in SEC Tournament play is 1-3, with all of the losses by double-digit margins. He beat Arkansas 68-61 in 2002 before losing his second-round game to Alabama 91-72. He lost a first-round game to Auburn 66-53 in 2003 and was crushed 84-49 by Alabama in first-round play last March.
Tennessee played so poorly in last year's tourney loss to Alabama that Peterson made the Vols stay in Atlanta and attend all four quarterfinal games the following day.
''I wanted to let 'em know what it takes to win in SEC play,'' Peterson said. ''You've got to step it up to another level. They went to every game on Friday, and I fed 'em in between. I don't know how much they liked that but I wanted them to get a feel for how intense some of those teams were playing.''