The SEC released Tennessee women’s basketball’s 16-conference matchups Friday.
The Lady Vols will play Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt at the friendly confines of Thompson-Boling Arena.
On the road, Tennessee will face Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
On top of the Lady Vols’ permanent rival Vanderbilt, Tennessee will play Alabama and Arkansas twice.
Vanderbilt canceled its 2021 season in January due to COVID-19 complications. The Commodores are starting over with new head coach Shea Ralph in 2021-22.
Arkansas finished in sixth place in the SEC last season and the Crimson Tide finished seventh. The Lady Vols beat both schools last season in 15-plus point blowouts.
The rest of the schedule works out fairly for Tennessee. Matchups with the other four teams who finished in the top five of the SEC last season are split. The Lady Vols host SEC Champion Texas A&M and a strong Kentucky team as well as a Mississippi State program that struggled last season in the wake of Vic Schaefer leaving for Texas.
On the road, Tennessee will face perennial power South Carolina and a resurgent Georgia program.
The Lady Vols went 17-8 (9-4 SEC) in Kellie Harper’s second season, earning a three-seed in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Michigan in the Round of 32.
Tennessee gave Harper a contract extension this offseason that runs through the 2026 season.
Despite losing All-American Rennia Davis, Tennessee returns a talented team with 2021’s breakout star Rae Burrell and other minute leaders Jordan Horston, Jordan Walker and Tamari Key.