Tennessee basketball: Ranking all 6 Vols losses of 2018-2019 by heartbreak

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MARCH 28: The Tennessee Volunteers bench looks on against the Purdue Boilermakers during overtime of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at the KFC YUM! Center on March 28, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MARCH 28: The Tennessee Volunteers bench looks on against the Purdue Boilermakers during overtime of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at the KFC YUM! Center on March 28, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 7
Next
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

6. No. 1 Tennessee Volunteers at No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats

Saturday, Feb. 16 , 2019

The highlight of Tennessee basketball’s season came to an end with this game. Rick Barnes’s team had spent four weeks at No. 1 and cashed in on the fact that the front end of their SEC schedule was loaded with all easy opponents.

But this was the first game to begin the back end. And the Kentucky Wildcats were not a team the Vols wanted to play. They had just gotten robbed earlier in the week against the LSU Tigers and were looking for major revenge.

Rupp Arena on a Saturday night was the time to get it. A bad shooting game by the Vols and their typical poor second half play spotted John Calipari’s team a 24-point lead at one point. UT lost by 17 and never got back to No. 1.

However, this is the least heartbreaking loss for a few reasons. Sure, you don’t like to lose to Kentucky. But it was on the road. And it’s not like there was a play in the game that made it heartbreaking. Finally, losing this game didn’t cause the Vols to lose a banner. They had to lose other games after this one, so in the grand scheme of things, it meant very little.