After getting back in the win column with a 93-73 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks Wednesday, Tennessee basketball will attempt to do something for a second time in the Rick Barnes era that it had only done once in 35 years before Barnes arrived. The Vols are going for a sweep of the Kentucky Wildcats.
UK heads to Rocky Top Saturday afternoon to take on UT, ranked No. 19 in the AP Poll and No. 20 in the Coaches Poll, in Knoxville, Tenn. at Thompson-Boling Arena for a rematch of two weeks ago. John Calipari’s team fell to the Vols at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. 82-71 that day.
The Wildcats come into this game on a two-game winning streak, having held off the Auburn Tigers and the Vanderbilt Commodores this past week. Here is all the information you need for Tennessee basketball’s Saturday afternoon matchup.
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Live stream: CBS All-Access
Obviously, this hasn’t been a typical season for Kentucky. Once again led by a group of elite freshmen, the lack of preseason due to COVID clearly limited how much Calipari could develop the guys, and it has resulted in a disastrous run. Even in this two-game winning streak, they beat Auburn by two and Vandy by four, and both teams are below average at best.
To be fair, though, this team still has some talent, and any small winning streak could be what gets them going. Combine that with the consistency issues that have plagued Barnes’ team all year, as they also rely heavily on elite freshmen, and you could have an upset.
This is a golden opportunity for Tennessee basketball to finish the season strong. After this game, they will face Vanderbilt and Auburn themselves to close out the season, so at this point, they have no teams above .500 left on their schedule. That gives them a chance to finish on a four-game winning streak. However, they actually have to run the table and can’t have slip-ups.