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No. 4 Tennessee at No. 17 South Carolina: How To Watch, Prediction, Complete Preview

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball heads to South Carolina on Wednesday night looking to earn at least a share of the SEC Championship in its third straight top 25 matchup.

The Vols enter the matchup a game ahead of South Carolina in the standings and can clinch an outright conference title with a victory.

Here’s everything to know about the highly anticipated matchup.

More From RTI: Where Tennessee Basketball Lands In Latest Bracketology Updates

How to Watch – No. 4 Tennessee (23-6, 13-3 SEC) at No. 17 South Carolina (24-5, 12-4 SEC)

  • Start Time: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT
  • Location: Colonial Life Arena
  • TV: ESPN2. PxP: Tom Hart. CC: Jimmy Dykes
  • Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
  • Radio (Knoxville): The Vol Network/The Vol Network App

Betting Lines

Draft Kings

  • Tennessee -4.5 South Carolina
  • Over/under 139.5


  • Tennessee -5 South Carolina
  • Over/under 139

What Tennessee HC Rick Barnes Said About South Carolina

On what stands out about this South Carolina team this season

“Well, one, how well they’re coached. A team that doesn’t commit a lot of mistakes. A team that knows exactly what they’re looking for. A team that can very quickly exploit the matchups that they want to get if you do a lot of switching and they get you in a position where they can get the switch they want. They took great advantage of it here in a lot of different ways. But just extremely fundamental, plays the pace that they want to play with. And Lamont (Paris) has done just an incredible job. One of the great jobs coaching jobs, not just this year, but as long as I’ve been in basketball, watching what he’s done and the way he’s turned it around and where they are today. And they’re got good players, don’t make no bones about (it), they’ve got good players. You wouldn’t be able to be where they are today in this league because it’s, again, we’ve talked about how competitive it is in this league. It may be the most competitive ever. For them to be playing for a championship, speaks volumes not only about the players, but also the coaching staff.”

On if this South Carolina team reminds him of his 2017-18 Tennessee team that went from picked 13th in the preseason to winning a share of the SEC regular-season championship

“I do. And they understand each other’s roles is what I think is what’s really impressive about them. They understand each other’s ability and what they need to do and where they need to get. And some older guys have been around, but again, they’ve done just a great job of doing that, believing in the system for one, and then believing in themselves and now they’ve got a lot of belief because of, again, having just an incredible year and a great year.  And it’s impressive with where they were, where they finish up. It just shows you that they didn’t buy into any of that. It was all about them, what they were trying to get done. And again, during the last week of the regular season, fighting for a championship.”

On South Carolina hitting corner threes against Tennessee the first game

“We got to play better, obviously in a lot of different areas, but their execution was good and we’ve go to do a better job with everything we talk about every game. You know, whether it’s transition defense, executing in our halfcourt defense, offensively, do what we need to do there. You go back. I mean it’s another game. They’re better than they were here. We’re better than we were here too. But it’s going be a great atmosphere, great crowd, and it should be. They deserve it. They’ve earned it, but there’s not one part that we’re going have to do everything. And again, it’s gonna be another 40 minutes and we’re going to have to be better.”

Probable Starters

Tennessee (via UT Game Notes)

South Carolina (via last game’s starters)

Team Statistics (via Sports Reference)


South Carolina:

Stat Leaders


Points: Dalton Knecht — 20.6 PPG, 47.8 FG%, 40.2 3PT%

Rebounds: Jonas Aidoo — 7.6 RPG, 4.8 DRPG, 2.8 ORPG

Assists: Zakai Zeigler — 5.8 APG, 2.2 TOPG, 30.6 MPG

South Carolina: 

Points: Meechie Johnson — 14.2 PPG, 40.9 FG%, 33.5 3PT%

Rebounds: Collin Murray-Boyles — 5.4 RPG, 3.1 DRPG, 2.3 ORPG

Assists: Ta’Lon Cooper — 4.4 APG, 1.3 TOPG, 33.8 MPG

Last Five Games


  • 81-74 win at Alabama
  • 92-84 win versus Auburn
  • 86-51 win versus Texas A&M
  • 72-67 win at Missouri
  • 88-53 win versus Vanderbilt

South Carolina:

  • 82-76 win versus Florida
  • 70-68 win at Texas A&M
  • 72-59 win at Ole Miss
  • 64-63 loss versus LSU
  • 101-61 loss at Auburn


Tennessee survived a week against Auburn and Alabama with two wins but life doesn’t get much easier for them this week as they travel to South Carolina before hosting Kentucky.

It’s a must win game for South Carolina to earn a share of the conference title while Tennessee can lock up the top-seed in the SEC Tournament win a win.

The Gamecocks are the type of team that’s given Tennessee trouble this season with their ability to slow the pace down and play strong and physical defense while also being good on the boards. That’s why South Carolina was able to upset Tennessee in Knoxville in late January.

But Tennessee will be out for revenge and has been playing really well as of late. By no means will it be easy, but I’m picking the Vols to get it done in Columbia.

Tennessee 72, South Carolina 68

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