Tennessee is looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s disappointing loss at Florida as it hosts No. 25 Auburn at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday afternoon.
The Vols had won four straight before the Florida game and climbed to No. 2 in the AP Poll due to their success. While Tennessee’s SEC regular season championship hopes are now thin, the Vols are still in contention for a one-seed.
Auburn doesn’t have the shine it did last season with Jabari Smith but Bruce Pearl has put together another strong team that’s near the top of the conference.
More From RTI: Everything Rick Barnes Said Before Auburn-Tennessee
How to Watch – No. 2 Tennessee (19-3, 7-2 SEC) vs. No. 25 Auburn (17-5, 7-2 SEC)
- Date: Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023
- Start Time: 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT
- Location: Thompson-Boling Arena
- TV: ESPN2. PxP: Mike Morgan, CC: Robbie Hummel
- Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
- Radio (Knoxville): The Vol Network/The Vol Network App
Team Statistics (via ESPN)
What Rick Barnes said about the Tigers
“You look at the rest of our schedule, it is only going to get tougher and tougher starting with Auburn on Saturday afternoon. Bruce (Pearl) has done what he has always does, a terrific job with this team. He is going to get the most out of them every year. As hard as they play. Knows what they are going to look for and the different matchups he is going to try and seek out. We are going to have to be on edge and know that we have to play better.”
On Auburn having success despite losing top players
“What Bruce does with his team every year is that he’s going to take the pieces that he’s got and put the puzzles together and I think he’s done it again this year. They’re certainly a different team, but every year he’s going to take what he’s got and get guys playing at a high level. They’re going to play hard, they’re going to execute what they want him to do. They are a team that get going, they’re explosive, they get down and they’re going to keep grinding away with it. But he does a great job year in and year out with whatever pieces he has. He’s going to put them together.”
Odds and Statistics
- Spread: Tennessee -10 Auburn
- Total: Over/Under 132
Probable Starters (via UT Sports)
- Points: Santiago Vescovi – 12.2 PPG, 38.7 FG%, 34.6 3PT%
- Rebounds: Olivier Nkamhoua – 5.3 RPG
- Assists: Zakai Zeigler – 5.0 APG, 2.3 TOPG, 29.4 MPG
- Points: Wendell Green Jr. — 13.8 PPG, 38.1 FG%, 29.2 3FG%
- Rebounds: Johni Broome — 8.9 RPG
- Assists: Wendell Green Jr. — 4.4 APG, 1.9 TOPG, 26.9 MPG
Last Five Games
- 02/01/23 — L — Tennessee lost at Florida 67-54
- 01/28/23 — W — Tennessee def. Texas 82-71
- 01/25/23 — W — Tennessee def. Georgia 70-41
- 01/21/23 — W — Tennessee def. LSU 77-56
- 01/17/23 — W — Tennessee def. Mississippi State 70-59
- 02/01/23 — W — Auburn def. Georgia 94-73
- 01/28/23 — L — Auburn lost at West Virginia 80-77
- 01/25/23 — L — Auburn lost against Texas A&M 79-63
- 01/21/23 — W — Auburn def. South Carolina 81-66
- 01/18/23 — W — Auburn def. LSU 67-49
Old friend Bruce Pearl returns to Knoxville and brings a top 25 Auburn team that bounced back from consecutive losses last week with a blowout win over Georgia in the midweek. The Tigers don’t have the firepower they had last season with Jabari Smith gone but Moorehead State transfer Johni Broome has been fantastic on the season, averaging 13.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
Tennessee has been fantastic at bouncing back from losses in recent years and hasn’t lost consecutive games since falling to Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinals and then Oregon State in the first round of the 2021 NCAA. Tournament.
Pearl always seems to have a strong defensive plan against Tennessee but after a rare, horrendous defensive end at Auburn and a lengthy Thursday film session I expect Tennessee to be extremely locked in on that end of the court. Tennessee wins a low scoring one against the Tigers
Tennessee 65, Auburn 59