When Tennessee and LSU meet on the basketball court on Saturday, it will be the 112th time the two teams have faced-off against each other. But Saturday’s contest will be only the fifth time in the series’ history that both teams are playing each other as ranked squads.
No. 5 Tennessee (24-2, 12-1 SEC) travels to Baton Rouge to take on No. 13 LSU (21-5, 11-2 SEC) for an early tip-off on Saturday. The Vols lead the all-time series 65-46, and Tennessee actually holds a slight edge in Baton Rouge as well, going 26-25 against the Tigers on their home court.
But this will be the first time since 2000 that the Vols have faced LSU when they’re a ranked team. And it will be only the seventh time since then that Tennessee has been ranked themselves when they face the Tigers.
Tennessee is just 1-3 all-time against the Tigers when both teams are ranked, but they’re 1-0 against LSU when they’re the higher-ranked team in those match-ups. Last year, the Vols blew out LSU 84-61 in Knoxville.
Interestingly, Tennessee has never faced LSU as a top-five team in the AP Poll. The Vols have played the Tigers eight times while ranked inside the top 10 of the poll, and UT is 5-3 in those contests.
This year’s LSU squad is arguably the best team the school has had in a decade. The Tigers already have the most wins of any LSU team since the 2014-15 team that went 22-11, and they’re not too far off the mark of the 2008-09 squad that went 27-8 overall.
LSU is led by sophomore point guard Tremont Waters. He leads the team in points per game (15.7), assists per game (5.9) and steals per game (2.9). Freshman forward Naz Reid has been a bully in the paint who can also hit the outside shot. He’s second on the team in scoring (13.8) and leads the Tigers in rebounds per game (6.6). He’s also the team’s leading three-point shooter, hitting 38.1 percent of his 63 three-pointers this season.
The Tigers are a dangerous rebounding team. They lead the SEC in offensive rebounds per game, and they have the most rebounds per game in conference play.
Saturday’s game will feature the two highest-scoring offenses in the SEC. LSU is averaging 84.7 points per game in conference play while the Vols are averaging 82.2 points against SEC opponents.
Tennessee bounced back on Tuesday night of this week with a 58-46 win over Vanderbilt at home after losing 86-69 on the road against then-No. 5 Kentucky last Saturday. LSU is coming off an overtime loss to Florida, an NCAA Tournament bubble team, at home on Wednesday night.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s match-up. If you can’t make it to the game, here’s how you can watch and listen to the Tennessee vs. LSU game.
Tip-Off: Noon Eastern, February 23rd, Pete Maravich Assembly Center (Baton Rouge, LA)
Streaming Online: WatchESPN.com or ESPN app
Radio: Vol Network (99.1 FM or 990 AM in Knoxville/surrounding areas)
Line: Tennessee (-1)