Coming off a dominant second half in their 71-45 victory over the Butler Bulldogs, Tennessee basketball takes the court again Thursday afternoon as part of the winners’ bracket in the second round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. This time, UT will be taking on a Pac-12 school.
Ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 22 in the Coaches Poll, Rick Barnes’ team will be facing the USC Trojans. The Vols are attempting to get their first victory over a Power Five program on the year, as they lost to another Pac-12 foe, the Colorado Buffaloes, a week and a half ago.
USC is coming off an 82-76 win over the BYU Cougars at Paradise Island in The Bahamas on Wednesday. They are currently on a four-game winning streak after losing their opener. Here is all the information you need for Tennessee basketball’s matchup.
- TV: ESPN2
- Live stream: WatchESPN
- Radio: Vol Network (Click here for affiliates); Trojan Radio Network (Click here for affiliates)
- Listen online: UTSports; USCTrojans.com
Gambling odds according to WynnBET
- Line: Tennessee -8.5
- Over/Under: 136
- Moneyline: Tennessee -425; USC +325
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change
Ironically, the Vols and USC share a common opponent. USC’s loss was to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, a team Rocky Top beat a week ago in its rebound game after losing to Colorado. However, USC has been red-hot since then as a program.
Led by ninth-year head coach Andy Enfield, USC returns two starters and four rotational players from last year’s team that went 26-8 and reached the NCAA Tournament. Included in that are two of the three players to average double figures last year, Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson.
The other two are Reese Dixon-Waters and Joshua Morgan, both of whom have taken a step forward this year. Freshmen Tre White and Kijani Wright have also joined the rotation, so expectations for this season have been cautiously optimistic.
Rocky Top, meanwhile, has been dealing with a banged up Josiah-Jordan James. They beat Butler Wednesday without him, the same game in which Uros Plavsic returned from an injury that he sustained in their loss to Colorado.
Playing later in the day Wednesday likely has Tennessee basketball a bit tired. As a result, they will have trouble covering, so take USC +3.5. Their defense won’t be as suffocating as it was against Butler, so take the Over 136 as well. UT still wins, though, as both teams will be in shooting rhythm. The score will look something like this: Tennessee 73 USC 69.
The winner of this game will take on the the Kansas Jayhawks Friday, who beat the Wisconsin Badgers 69-68 Thursday. That will be for the Battle 4 Atlantis championship. Whichever team loses this game will take on Wisconsin for the third place finish.