The Emerald Coast Classic is getting the marquee match-up between two ranked teams it was hoping for, just not how it wanted.
No. 17 Tennessee (5-1) fell 60-57 to Florida State on Friday night, and No. 20 VCU (6-1) was similarly upset on Friday night, losing 59-56 to Purdue. Now, both teams will face each other in the consolation game of the Emerald Coast Classic while Florida State and Purdue play for the title game.
The match-up between two ranked teams is sure to grab attention across the college basketball world. The only problem? It won’t be on television.
Tennessee and VCU can only be watched via the Emerald Coast Classic’s website where it’ll be streaming later today. For the Vols, the game will be tipping off at the exact same time as Tennessee’s football team kicks off against Vanderbilt to end the regular season.
Both the Vols and Rams had problems with turnovers in the first round of the Emerald Coast Classic. Both teams gave the ball away over 20 times, and both ended up losing by just three points to an unranked foe. Tennessee had a horrible shooting night on Friday, connecting on just 33 percent of their field goals. VCU actually shot fairly well overall, making 44.2 percent of their shots, but they made just three of their 17 threes and only shot 68.2 percent from the free throw line.
VCU has played one SEC team already this season, beating LSU 84-82 on November 13th. The Vols and Rams have one common opponent this season, with both programs playing Alabama State. Tennessee beat the Hornets 76-41 on November 20th, and VCU played them the very next game, winning 78-62.
The Rams are a defensive-minded team led by Marcus Evans (13.9 PPG) and Marcus Santos-Silva (12.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG) on offense. LSU is the only team this season to score more than 65 points against VCU.
Similarly, Tennessee’s defense has been stout this season, with the Vols holding opponents to just 55.8 points a game, the 10th-lowest average in all of college basketball. No team has scored more than 63 points against the Vols all season.
All-time, Tennessee is 4-1 vs. VCU in men’s basketball, though the Vols lost to the Rams the last time they played them in November of 2014, falling 85-69 to No. 15 VCU. Before that, UT had won in 1981, 1990, 1991, and 2010.
If you couldn’t make it down to Florida or want to be able to keep up with the basketball team as the football team plays Vanderbilt, here’s how you can watch or listen to the Tennessee vs. VCU game today.
Tip-Off: 4:00 Eastern, November 30th, The Arena at Northwest Florida State College (Niceville, FL)
Streaming Online: EmeraldCoastTV.com
Radio: Vol Network
Line: Tennessee (-2)