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No. 9 Tennessee at Wisconsin: How To Watch, Betting Odds, Prediction

Tennessee Bracketology Basketball
Tennessee guard Jordan Gainey (left) and forward Josiah-Jordan James (right). Photo by Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee basketball faces its first true test of the 2023-24 season on Friday night as the Vols face Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison.

The Vols are off to a nice start to the season after a good preseason. The Badgers rolled past Arkansas State in their season opener. But things get ratcheted up to another level on Friday night.

Here’s everything to know about Tennessee’s matchup at Wisconsin.

More From RTI: Zakai Zeigler Discusses His Return To The Court

How to Watch – No. 9 Tennessee (1-0) at Wisconsin (1-0)

  • Start Time: 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
  • Location: Kohl Center
  • TV: Peacock. PxP: Terry Gannon, CC: Stephen Bardo
  • Online Streaming: Peacock
  • Radio (Knoxville): The Vol Network/The Vol Network App

Betting Lines

Draft Kings

Spread: Tennessee -1.5 Wisconsin

Total: Over/under 132.5


Spread: Wisconsin -2 Tennessee

Total: Over/under 138

Probable Starters

Tennessee (via UT Sports)


No probable starters at this time. Starters from season opener below

What Rick Barnes Said About The Badgers

On Wisconsin returning a lot of talent

“It is hard early in the year when you look at a team that has got 90% of its production coming back. They did well through the recruiting. Great fan base. Great arena to play in. Early in the year — and I was watching them before I came out to be with you guys — they’re probably closer to midseason form. Like us, you’d expect them to be a little bit ahead and they did play with a faster pace the other night and, I think, one of the coaches told me that they said they wanted to play faster and they did do that. A really good team at passing the ball. A team that really runs good actions. They read well. They read defenses really well. If you try to push them one way, they do a great job of back-cutting. I think they make great penetrating passes and if you get spread out too much again, they do a really good job of back-cutting them and doing those type things to get those easy baskets. They got a post guy they’ll play through and they’ve got guys that can drive it. They’re doing a lot of things. Early in the year, they’re gonna throw a lot of stuff at us and that we’re gonna have to be ready for.”

On if Wisconsin played at a faster pace Monday against Arkansas State than typical Greg Gard teams play

“Well, Greg’s a terrific coach and I hink he’s like most coaches that have been around the game a long time. When you get different personnel, you adjust to it. And you realize what guys can do well and you look at your team. And I do think that’s one thing where guys have been around the game a long time, take a guy and figure out a way to get him involved quickly and early. And I think he’s done that.”

Team Statistics (via Sports Reference)



Stat Leaders


Points: Dalton Knecht — 17 PPG, 54.5 FG%, 33.3 3PT%

Rebounds: Jonas Aidoo — 8 RPG, 7 DRPG, 1 ORPG

Assists: Zakai Zeigler — 5 APG, 0 TOPG, 13 MPG


Points: Chucky Hepburn — 20 PPG, 70 FG%, 67 3PT%

Rebounds: Nolan Winter — 7 RPG, 5 DRPG, 2 ORPG

Assists: Chucky Hepburn — 6 APG, 2 TOPG, 31 MPG

Last Season Results


  • Record: 25-11 (11-7 SEC)
  • Sweet 16 loss


  • Record: 20-15 (9-11 Big 10)
  • NIT Final Loss


Tennessee faces its first true test of the regular season on Friday night as they face a solid Wisconsin team at the Kohl Center. The Badgers are a tough team to figure out. They return the entire veteran core of a NIT team last season and that’s why they opened up the season just outside the top 25. But KenPom and other analytical based sites are much higher on the Badgers. KenPom ranks Wisconsin 17th nationally and pegs them as home favorites in this game.

So this should be a great challenge for Tennessee and is the game where its exhibition matchup at Michigan State should truly pay off. I’m sure it’ll be a rowdy Kohl Center on Friday night but I expect the Vols to be able to handle this environment.

Here’s a few things that interest me about this game. When you think of Rick Barnes and Greg Gard coached teams you think of a defensive, half court team. But both teams want to play faster this season and have put an emphasis on offense. We’ve seen that with Tennessee’s offensive additions and Wisconsin scored triple digits and played an extremely high pace game in its season opener. But when both teams face their first true challenge of the regular season, do they hold strong to those changes or slip back into their old style of plays?

In addition to that, can Dalton Knecht continue to score at a high level? Can Tennessee’s big men stay out of foul trouble against a physical front line? What do Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Vescovi look like as they continue to work back into the rhythm of things?

I think this game is a toss up but I’ll say the Vols get it done.

Tennessee 73, Wisconsin 69

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