The bracket for the 2022 Battle 4 Atlantis has been announced, with Tennessee set to open against Butler on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The winner of the matchup between the Vols and Bulldogs will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between BYU and Southern California on Thursday, Nov. 24, while the losers of Wednesday’s games will also square off Thursday.
Tennessee last faced Butler in the first season of Rick Barnes‘ tenure on Rocky Top—a 94-86 win by the No. 18 Bulldogs in Indianapolis.
The Vols are 2-3 against Butler all-time, with wins coming over No. 15 Butler in Knoxville on Dec. 14, 2014, and an overtime win over the seventh-seeded Bulldogs in the 2008 NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32.
Butler head coach Thad Matta has returned to his alma mater to lead the Bulldogs for a second time. In his 17 years as a college head coach, which includes stints at Butler, Ohio State and Xavier, Matta’s teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament 13 times.The Bulldogs return leading scorer Chuck Harris (11.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and key contributors Jayden Taylor (8.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and Simas Lukosius 6.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg) from last season’s roster. Matta has supplemented the Bulldogs’ core of retuerners with several transfer additions, including Manny Bates (North Carolina State), Eric Hunter Jr. (Purdue), Jalen Thomas (Georgia State) and Ali Ali (Akron).
The last time Tennessee faced a team coached by Matta, the Vols defeated his Ohio State Buckeyes—led by National Player of the Year Evan Turner—in the 2010 Sweet Sixteen in Providence, Rhode Island.
Eight teams—Butler, BYU, Dayton, Kansas, NC State, Southern Cal, Tennessee and Wisconsin—make up the Battle 4 Atlantis field, with each team guaranteed to play three games at the tournament.
The Vols have made two previous appearances at the Battle 4 Atlantis, in 2013 and 2017. The Big Orange are 4-2 at the event and logged a third-place finish in their most recent trip to Paradise Island. The Vols’ 78-75 overtime win against No. 18 Purdue to open the 2017 Battle 4 Atlantis signaled the arrival of a Tennessee squad that went on to win the SEC Championship.