Coming off their Battle 4 Atlantis Championship, Tennessee basketball returns to Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday night sitting pretty after dominating the Kansas Jayhawks last Friday. Now, they finally get what should be a bit of a break.
UT, ranked No. 13 in both polls, will host the McNeese State Cowboys. It’s the first of three straight home games for the Vols against lower-level competition that will last through next Wednesday before a brutal two-game stretch against the Maryland Terrapins on a neutral court and at the Arizona Wildcats.
McNeese State comes into this game on a two-game losing streak and having lost five of six, most recently falling 86-83 to the UT-Martin Skyhawks on the road Monday. Here is all the information you need for Tennessee basketball’s matchup.
McNeese State Cowboys (2-5) at Tennessee Volunteers (5-1)
Wednesday, Nov. 30 | 7:15 p.m. ET | Thompson-Boling Arena | Knoxville, Tenn.
- TV: SEC Network
- Live stream: WatchESPN
- Radio: Vol Network (Click here for affiliates)
- Listen online: UTSports
Gambling odds according to WynnBET
- Line: Tennessee -34.5
- Over/Under: 133
- Moneyline: N/A
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change
Led by second-year head coach John Aiken, McNeese State lost three starters from last year’s team that went 11-22. However, they return two of their three scorers to average double figures from that team in Christian Shumate and Zach Scott.
Shumate was actually their leading scorer last year despite not starting. He’s starting this year and is still their leading scorer. Jonathan Massie is another one of their returning starters, and Trae English has emerged his second year in the program.
In addition to that close loss at UT-Martin, two other losses are on the road to the Tulane Green Wave and Baylor Bears, so they aren’t as bad as their record may indicate. Aiken is still building this program, and more experience may help as the year goes on.
Despite this team maybe having some potential, it won’t matter against the Vols. UT is playing too well right now, with or without Josiah-Jordan James, who was banged up and missed every game in the Battle 4 Atlantis. As a result, the Vols will dominate this one.
It actually won’t even be close, and despite the insane spread, Rocky Top will cover, so take Tennessee -34.5. Your best bet, though, is the Under 133. McNeese State isn’t bad offensively, but they haven’t faced a defense like what Rick Barnes has built. The score will look something like this: Tennessee 85 McNeese State 43.
After this game, Tennessee basketball will host the Alcorn State Braves on Sunday and then the Eastern Kentucky Colonels next Wednesday. Their matchup with the Terps is a week from Sunday. McNeese State will host the Ecclesia College Royals next Monday.