In their first SEC Tournament game, the Tennessee Volunteers face the Alabama Crimson Tide in Nashville. Here is our preview for the game.
With no fans in attendance amidst the coronavirus outbreak, Tennessee basketball will play its first SEC Tournament game Thursday afternoon against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Nashville. While the outbreak is the story, the Vols are still playing for a chance to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament, an event with its own status in limbo.
Anyway, UT still has to play a game, and Rick Barnes’ team is trying to get back on track after a blowout home loss to the Auburn Tigers to close out the season. The winner of this game will face the Kentucky Wildcats, the regular season champion of the conference, on Friday, assuming that the conference still continues its tournament.
At 17-14 and 9-9 in the league to close out the season, conventional wisdom is the Vols need to win the SEC Tournament if they are going to have a chance at March Madness. However, a deep run will put them on the bubble. It starts with this game. Here is all the information you need surrounding it.
SEC Tournament 2nd round
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
When: Thursday, March 12 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Bridgestone Arena; Nashville, Tenn.
TV: SEC Network
Live stream: WatchESPN
Alabama comes into this game at 16-15 and 8-10 in the SEC under first-year head coach Nate Oats. Earlier this year, the Vols beat them in Tuscaloosa 69-68 in a thriller. The Tide come into this game on a two-game losing streak.
This all could make for a very interesting matchup. Alabama, more so than Rocky Top, almost certainly has to win the SEC Tournament to have a shot at the Big Dance. Even a run won’t put them on the bubble given their resume.
The Vols, though, could make a case by beating Alabama, Kentucky and then whichever team they would play on Saturday. That would at least give them two more quality wins heading into Sunday. However, before thinking about that, they have to get past this noon game, which is a huge matchup amidst a ton of drama surrounding the sports world.