It was announced a while ago that Tennessee’s men’s basketball team would be taking part in the Emerald Coast Classic — an early season basketball tournament in Florida — in the 2019-20 season along with Florida State, Purdue, and VCU. Now, the Vols know who they’ll be facing.
According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Tennessee will face-off with Florida State on November 28th while Purdue and VCU play each other on the other side of the bracket. The winners and losers of the two respective games will face-off the next day on November 29th.
Sources: Florida State will play Tennessee and Purdue will face VCU in the first round of the 2019 Emerald Coast Classic.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 4, 2019
Tennessee hasn’t played Florida State in men’s basketball since 1989 when the No. 17 Vols lost to the No. 14 Seminoles 101-90 in Tallahassee. All-time, the Vols are 5-3 against Florida State in men’s hoops, including a 1-1 mark on a neutral court.
Last season, Florida State went 29-8 overall and finished fourth in the ACC in the regular season. The Seminoles were a No. 4 seed and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament before losing 72-58 to Gonzaga. Florida State’s 29 wins last season were the most in program history, and they ascended to as high as No. 9 in the AP Poll.
Much like Tennessee, Florida State will be replacing a large chunk of their production off this past year’s team. The Seminoles’ top two scorers were drafted into the NBA, and they said goodbye to four other seniors who were significant contributors on last year’s roster.
With the Vols’ match-up with Florida State now set, here’s how UT’s non-conference schedule for the 2019-20 season looks as of now:
Nov. 16 – Washington, James Naismith Classic (Toronto)
Nov. 28 – Florida State, Emerald Coast Classic (Florida)
Nov. 29 – Purdue/VCU, Emerald Coast Classic (Florida)
Dec. 14 – Memphis (Knoxville)
Dec. 18 – at Cincinnati
Dec. 28 – Wisconsin (Knoxville)
With the exception of Memphis, every team listed above made it to the 2019 NCAA Tournament this past year. Purdue advanced the furthest of the teams listed, losing to eventual national champion Virginia in the Elite Eight.
Tennessee will also take part in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge again this season after doing so the last four years. The Vols traveled to TCU in head coach Rick Barnes’ first year as head coach, hosted Kansas State the next year, traveled to Iowa State in Barnes’ third year, and hosted West Virginia this past season. Whichever team the Vols face in the challenge this year will host Tennessee.
The Vols also already know what their 2019-20 SEC schedule will look like, though the dates for those match-ups haven’t been finalized yet.
Tennessee will face Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Auburn, and Arkansas both on the road and at home next season. The Vols will host Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M and will travel on the road to play Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State, and Missouri.
Seven of Tennessee’s 18 SEC games this season will be against opponents that finished in the top five of the SEC standings last year. Four of those games will be at home and three will be on the road. Of those 18 SEC contests, eight will be played against teams that made the NCAA Tournament in 2019, meaning the Vols will play at least 13 games against teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season including their non-conference foes.