It really doesn't matter...but it does in the hearts and minds of Vol fans everywhere. Helps recruiting and momentum of the program, in general. All the blue bloods keep trading spots for #1...Duke, Zaga, Kansas, etc, so why not UT? We got more votes than Michigan this week, so if we take care of business this week, we should be in good shape. To get our name up at #1 also means that we drop less when we lose one. All in all, there's no negative, and something for us to brag about, for sure. Kinda like how the SEC championship gets minimized during a particular year, but, over a period of time, you keep hanging those banners up, and the next thing you know, you've got a tradition of winning basketball, and not like South Carolina's one year wonder trip to the final four a couple years ago.
The good publicity and recognition would be enormous. The press loves Big 10 and ACC teams (especially Duke and NC) so we must have undeniable credentials to get the number 1 spot. Could make it in the coach's poll. Michigan being undefeated will assure them the spot. Take care of business and win the NCAA.