Tennessee Vols’ SEC Tournament preview vs. Mississippi State: Live stream, broadcast info, line, odds, prediction

Mar 9, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of Amalie Arena for the SEC Conference Tournament. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of Amalie Arena for the SEC Conference Tournament. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Coming off a huge win over the Arkansas Razorbacks last Saturday and in the midst of a four-game winning streak, Tennessee basketball plays its first game in the SEC Tournament Friday night. The Vols enter the event as a No. 2 seed.

Rick Barnes’ team, ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll and No. 11 in the Coaches Poll, will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. MSU is the No. 10 seed and beat the No. 7 seed South Carolina Gamecocks 73-51 on Thursday.

When these two teams met in the regular season at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss., the Vols beat Ben Howland’s team 72-63. Here is all the information you need for Tennessee basketball’s 2022 SEC Tournament opener.

Amalie Arena. Friday, March 11. 534. Tampa, Fla.. 18-14 (8-10). 530. 23-7 (14-4). 6 p.m. ET

Broadcast information

Gambling odds according to WynnBET

  • Line: Tennessee -8
  • Over/Under: 131
  • Moneyline: Tennessee -380; Mississippi State+300

Before beating South Carolina, Mississippi State had lost three of four. One of those was in overtime at home to the Auburn Tigers. Had they won that game, the Vols with their current record would have actually been the No. 1 seed in this tournament.

Anyway, that plus Thursday night’s win shows how dangerous they can be, despite UT beating them at The Hump. Also, at no. 56 in the NCAA NET Rankings, No. 68 in the RealTime RPI and No. 33 in the ESPN BPI, this team is still very much on the bubble. Beating the Vols would likely put them in, and two more wins secures it.

Taking that into account, you can bet Mississippi State will be playing with a sense of urgency in this one. If the Vols want to win their first league tournament championship in over 40 years or at least walk away with some form of a conference title this year after just missing out on the regular season title, they can’t ignore that.


Mississippi State’s style of play falls right into the Vols’ hands. Howland insists on playing inside-out, working the shot-clock and slowing it down. UT can run tempo or half-court on offense, but their defense is what drives them, and they thrive against these types of offenses. At the same time, they aren’t at home.

Next. Vols' SEC Tournament rooting guide. dark

As a result, Tennessee basketball will win this game easily and advance to face the winner between the Kentucky Wildcats and Vanderbilt Commodores in the SEC Tournament semifinals. Take Tennessee -8. Their defense will do it, so take the Under 131 as well. The score will look something like this: Tennessee 68 Mississippi State 51.

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