For the 229th time, Tennessee and Kentucky will face-off in men’s basketball when the two teams play on Saturday afternoon in Knoxville.
The Vols (13-9, 5-4 SEC) will host the No. 15 Wildcats (17-5, 7-2 SEC) for an afternoon tip-off in a sold out Thompson-Boling Arena. Saturday’s contest will be the first time these two rivals have played this season, and the two will play again later this season in Lexington.
Tennessee enters Saturday’s game coming off a thrilling comeback victory over Alabama on the road on Tuesday. Before that, though, the Vols had lost three-straight games. Kentucky has won five of their last six contests, with their only loss in that stretch coming on the road in a closely-contested game against Auburn.
Freshman guard Josiah-Jordan James will be sidelined again for Tennessee on Saturday. The former five-star has missed the Vols’ last two games after re-aggravating a hip problem he had in the preseason. James had started Tennessee’s first 20 games of the season prior to tweaking his hip. He’s averaging 7.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. James is also the Vols’ top perimeter defender and one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire SEC.
A senior, a junior, three sophomores, and a freshman play most of Kentucky’s minutes, which is a slight change of pace from recent Wildcat seasons. Junior forward Nick Richards and sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley are Kentucky’s leading scorers, averaging 14.6 points per game apiece. Richards also averages 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, and he’s been even better in conference play, averaging 16.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks a contest against SEC foes. Quickley has hit 44.2 percent of his three-pointers in SEC play and is averaging 17.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in nine league games.
All-time, Kentucky is 155-73 against the Vols, but UT is 51-52 against the Wildcats in Knoxville. Tennessee has won four-straight games against UK at home, and Rick Barnes has never lost to Kentucky in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Take a look at everything you need to know for Saturday’s match-up. If you can’t make it to the game, here’s how you can watch or listen to Saturday’s Tennessee vs. Kentucky game.
Tip-Off: 1:00 Eastern, February 8th, Thompson-Boling Arena (Knoxville, TN)
TV: CBS (Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery)
Streaming Online: CBSSports.com or the CBS Sports app
Radio: Vol Network
Line: Kentucky (-2)