TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS 13-10 (5-6)
FEBRUARY 16, 2013 – 1:00 PM
THOMPSON -BOLING ARENA – KNOXVILLE, TN
TV – CBS SPORTS
KENTUCKY LEADS SERIES 150-66
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
1/15/2013: KENTUCKY 75 Tennessee 65
1/31/2012: KENTUCKY 69 Tennessee 44
1/14/2012: KENTUCKY 65 Tennessee 62
3/6/2011: KENTUCKY 64 Tennessee 58
2/8/2011: KENTUCKY 73 Tennessee 61
For as heated a rivalry as Kentucky and Tennessee, it certainly has been one-sided in the two big sports. We hope that Mark Stoops is going to change the football fortunes of UK, but the Wildcats have dominated the Volunteers. Kentucky has won the last six games and nine of the past ten games. You actually have to go back to 2007 and Tubby Smith to find the last time an unranked Tennessee team defeated Kentucky but everything has changed for this game.
The big story of course, is how Kentucky will respond to the loss of Nerlens Noel. Tennessee fans know how Kentucky feels as they lost leading last years rebounder Jerome Maymon due to a slow recovery from knee surgery and he has not played at all this season. The Vols were thought to be a preseason SEC darkhorse but partly due to the loss, have not lived up to their expectations. Kentucky still has strong NCAA hopes, even after the loss to Florida on Tuesday. CBS ranks the Wildcats 41st in RPI, but this game is vital to both Kentucky and Tennessee’s post season chances. The Vols are currently at 78th in the RPI but beating Kentucky would give them three wins over top fifty teams this year.
One thing for sure is that this is going to be a physical game and it will be interesting to see how Kentucky responds to playing without their leader. Let’s look at the stats for both teams and then meet the probable starters for the Vols.