For the first time since 2015, Tennessee’s men’s basketball team will be taking on the No. 1 team in the country when they face-off against top-ranked Gonzaga on Sunday.
No. 7 Tennessee (6-1) will play No. 1 Gonzaga (9-0) in the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday, marking the sixth time the two programs have met. The Vols are 1-4 all-time against Gonzaga, and they’ve lost four straight to the Zags since winning the first meeting between the two teams in 2007.
The Vols are just 4-13 all-time when they’ve played the No. 1 team in the country. The last time they defeated the top-ranked team in college basketball was in January of 2010 when Tennessee took down No. 1 Kansas in Knoxville.
As a head coach, Rick Barnes has never defeated the No. 1 team in the country. He has 18 victories over top-five teams in his coaching career, but he’s never led a team to a victory over a No. 1 ranked team when he’s faced them.
This season marks the first time in UT history that the men’s team has faced two teams ranked inside the top 5 before starting SEC play. The Vols faced No. 2 Kansas in the NIT Season Tip-Off over Thanksgiving weekend, and they fell to the Jayhawks 87-81 in overtime. Gonzaga has played a top 5 this season already as well, and they knocked off then-No. 1 Duke 89-87.
Gonzaga has arguably the most potent offense in college basketball so far this season. They’re No. 1 in Division I basketball in team field goal percentage (53.0 percent) and are No. 2 in points scored per game (96.4). Tennessee, however, has the fourth-best field goal percentage in the country, holding opponent to just 35.5 percent shooting from the floor. The Vols are also giving up just 63.6 points per game.
If you couldn’t make it over to Phoenix but still want to watch or listen to the Vols take on Gonzaga, we have all the information you need below.
Tip-Off: 3:00 Eastern, December 9th, Talking Stick Resort Arena (Phoenix, AZ)
Streaming Online: WatchESPN.com or ESPN app
Radio: Vol Network (99.1 FM or 990 AM in Knoxville/surrounding areas)
Line: Gonzaga (-2.5)