for this game

Tennessee seeks first trip to SEC tourney final since 1979

Mar 15, 2008 - 1:33 PM Arkansas (21-10) at No. 4 Tennessee (29-3) 6:00 pm EDT

ATLANTA (Ticker) - Despite being in uncharted territory, fourth-ranked Tennessee hopes to move one step closer to doing something it hasn't done since 1979.

As the top seed from the East division, the Volunteers will face second-seeded Arkansas on Saturday in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Chris Lofton shook off a miserable shooting performance by knocking down the game-winning 3-pointer with 12 seconds to go to help Tennessee escape with an 89-87 victory over South Carolina in quarterfinals Friday.

The Vols are seeking their first appearance in the conference tourney title game since 1979.

"We're used to packing our bags right now," said Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, whose club had lost three straight SEC tournament games dating to 2005. "I'm real happy for our fans that we're still in this tournament. We'll work and they get to celebrate a little bit."

The Razorbacks come through in a hugh way as Gary Ervin scored 18 points, including four clutch free throws down the stretch for an 81-75 upset victory over 17th-ranked Vanderbilt on Friday.

"We knew we had our hands full, playing (Vanderbilt)," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "I'm proud of our guys. I think we played pretty good basketball. It was team basketball."