It’s the first Saturday in March, and the Vols have a marquee match-up at home.
No. 7 Tennessee (25-3, 13-2 SEC) hosts No. 4 Kentucky (24-4, 13-2) for a pivotal regular season contest inside Thompson-Boling Arena. For the Vols, they’ll be looking for revenge after the Wildcats handed them an 86-69 beating in Lexington exactly two weeks ago.
Saturday’s game marks only the fifth time in the rivalry’s storied history that both programs will be facing off as top-10 teams in the AP Poll. The most recent meeting happened earlier this year, and the two schools met as top-10 teams in 1981 and twice in 1968 as well. The series is split 2-2 when both schools are ranked inside the top 10.
Tennessee has won three-straight games against Kentucky at home, but the Wildcats have won two consecutive games overall in the series. The Vols are 50-52 all-time against Kentucky at home.
The Wildcats are expected to be without one of their better players on Saturday. Stanford grand transfer forward Reid Travis is expected to sit out his third-straight game after suffering an injury in Kentucky’s contest with Missouri a week and a half ago. Travis was crucial to Kentucky’s success in the paint on both offense and defense the last time these two teams played, finishing with 11 points and eight rebounds while also harassing Grant Williams down low.
Even without Travis, the Wildcats still boast an impressive roster that’s led by SEC Player of the Year candidate P.J. Washington.
The last time UT and UK played, Washington had a monster game, scoring 23 points and pulling down five rebounds. Tyler Herro had a double-double, scoring 15 points and bringing down 13 rebounds, and Keldon Johnson totaled 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting and made three of his six three-pointers.
Right now, the Vols and Wildcats are tied atop the SEC standings along with LSU. Whichever team wins on Saturday would get a huge edge heading into the last week of the regular season.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s big match-up, and here are our score predictions for the game. If you can’t make it to the game, here’s how you can watch and listen to the Tennessee vs. Kentucky game.
Tip-Off: 2:00 Eastern, March 2nd, Thompson-Boling Arena (Knoxville, TN)
Streaming Online: CBSSports.com
Radio: Vol Network (99.1 FM or 990 AM in Knoxville/surrounding areas)
Line: Tennessee (-3)