For the second time in two seasons, Tennessee will attempt a “Checker TBA” game for the men’s basketball team when they face-off against Florida on Saturday.
No. 1 Tennessee (21-1, 9-0 SEC) hosts the Florida Gators (12-10, 4-5 SEC) on Saturday afternoon in Thompson-Boling Arena, and Vol fans will be decked out in orange and white in a checkerboard pattern inside the arena. It will mark the second-straight season that Tennessee has done a “Checker TBA” game. The last time UT did it, the Vols fell to No. 7 North Carolina early in the 2017-18 season. The Tarheels were reigning national champions at the time.
This time, Tennessee is hoping the Vol fans in attendance get to witness a win.
The Vols and Gators have already played each other once this season. Tennessee went down to Gainesville and picked up a 78-67 victory over Florida. The game was much closer than the final score indicated, and Florida looked to be on the verge of pulling off the upset for a lot of that game. But Tennessee flexed their muscles late, and they pulled away in the final minute to turn a one-possession game into an 11-point win.
Tennessee enters Saturday’s game on a 17-game winning streak, the longest streak in program history. A win would give the Vols their 18th-straight victory, and that would be the longest winning streak in Rick Barnes’ 32-year coaching career.
Florida, meanwhile, has lost three of their last four games and is averaging just 64 points per game in those four contests.
The Vols currently have five players averaging double figures in scoring. Grant Williams (20.1), Admiral Schofield (16.6), Jordan Bone (13.5), Lamonte Turner (12.0), and Jordan Bowden (11.2) all average double-digit points this season. Kyle Alexander is right on the cusp of that, averaging 8.6 points per game.
For the Gators, only KeVaughn Allen (12.9 points) and Noah Locke (11.4 points) are averaging over 10 points per game this season.
Here’s everything you need to know about today’s match-up. And if you can’t make it to the game, here’s how you can watch and listen to the Tennessee vs. Florida game.
Tip-Off: 4:00 Eastern, February 9th, Thompson-Boling Arena (Knoxville, TN)
Streaming Online: WatchESPN.com or ESPN app
Radio: Vol Network (99.1 FM or 990 AM in Knoxville/surrounding areas)
Line: Tennessee (-11)