No. 5 Tennessee (3-0) has their first big test of the 2018-19 college basketball season on Wednesday when they take on Louisville (3-0) in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The Vols have used a stout defense and strong rebounding efforts to cruise to three victories in three games to start this season. Louisville, meanwhile, has poured on the points this season and have used their high-powered offense to breeze by their three opponents to begin this season.
Tennessee is just 7-12 all-time against Louisville in basketball, and they’ve lost their last five match-ups against the Cardinals. The last time these two teams met was in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, and Louisville beat Tennessee handily, 79-60. The Vols’ last victory over Louisville came in the NIT Tournament in 1985.
Chris Mack is in his first season as Louisville’s head coach, but he has a proven track record as a collegiate head coach. He earned a 215-97 record in nine seasons at Xavier, and he took the Musketeers to the NCAA Tournament in eight of his nine seasons as their head coach. Xavier made it to the Sweet Sixteen five times under Mack, and they played in the Elite Eight in 2017.
Rick Barnes is leading the Vols for the fourth straight season, and this one is easily his most hyped-up year at Tennessee. The Vols began the season as the No. 6 team in the country — the highest preseason ranking in program history — and have slid up into the No. 5 spot after Kentucky fell out of the top-5 teams.
Reigning co-Sixth Man of the Year, Lamonte Turner, is expected to make his season debut against Louisville. Turner sat out the Vols’ first three games of the season as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.
Here’s everything you need to know about today’s match-up. And here’s all the information you need to watch or listen to Tennessee’s game against Louisville in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Tip-Off: 5:00 Eastern, November 21st, Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)
Streaming Online: WatchESPN.com or ESPN app
Radio: Vol Network (99.1 FM or 990 AM in Knoxville/surrounding areas)
Line: Tennessee (-7.5)