Tennessee and Memphis were originally scheduled to play the final game of its three-game series this season in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena. It’ll now be played on Dec. 18, 2021 due to COVID-19.
According to a Tennessee press release, the contest was postponed one year due to the programs’ shared belief that the game should be in a sold-out arena — unfeasible this winter given the current pandemic.
“This was the right thing to do, and it’s the best thing for both teams’ fanbases,” Tennessee associate head coach Michael Schwartz said in the release. “We’re appreciative of Bridgestone Arena working with us to keep this game in Nashville. It should be a great statewide showcase for college basketball.”
The two teams split the first two game of the series. Tennessee won 102-92 in Memphis two seasons ago, while the Tigers beat the Vols 51-47 in Knoxville this past season.
“The University of Memphis is looking forward to continuing what is a great intrastate series against Tennessee,” Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway said in the release. “The neutral-site game at Bridgestone Arena will provide an incredible atmosphere, and I know our fans will be excited about going to Nashville to support the Tigers. I want to thank Bridgestone Arena for their willingness to work through a tough situation with the pandemic to host this game in December 2021. It is a game that is great for national television and brings a lot of attention to the quality of basketball in our state.”
Tennessee and Memphis have each won five games over the last 10 matchups between the two programs. They’ve met at a neutral site just twice. The Vols defeated the Tigers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1969. Memphis topped UT in double overtime at the Maui Invitational in 2011.
Tennessee is scheduled to begin its season on Nov. 25 against Charlotte as part of a three-team event it’ll host in Knoxville. The Vols will then play VCU on Nov. 27.