The Tennessee men’s basketball team is back in an uncomfortable, yet common, place.

Another loss, this time a 64-60 defeat at the hands of rival Vanderbilt on Wednesday, unearthed the same old questions the Vols had recently hushed. Whatever promise that sprouted from wire-to-wire wins against Ole Miss and Alabama died in Nashville.

“That part is tough,” UT coach Cuonzo Martin said of his team’s tendency to go from great to gruesome. “But you have experienced guys. The good thing is you will be able to bounce back, learn from it and move forward.”

For UT (14-8, 5-4 SEC) to achieve its ultimate goal this season — becoming the first Martin-coached UT team to make the NCAA Tournament — the forward motion must start now. And it has to stay out of the ditches the Vols keep digging themselves in.