TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS 11-5 (2-1)
JANUARY 18, 2014 – 12:00 PM
RUPP ARENA – LEXINGTON, KY
TV – CBS
KENTUCKY LEADS SERIES 149-67
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
2/6/2013: Tennessee 88 KENTUCKY 58
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
Last year, Kentucky travelled to Tennessee and got the absolute snot beaten out of them 88-58. And in their only regular season meeting this year, Kentucky will try to return the favor at Rupp Arena and extract some revenge from the low point of the 2012-13 season. Asides from redemption, there is a lot more at stake as the loser of this game risks falling two games behind Florida and Texas A&M in the SEC race. And with a weakened SEC, both teams are needy of a quality win. While a Kentucky scalp will loom bigger on the Tennessee resume, Kentucky can use this win as well. Ken Pomeroy sees this as a #18 Kentucky versus a #23 Tennessee matchup, but other rankings are not as kind. Jerry Palm has the Vols at #54 and that seems to be an average ranking.
The Volunteers were expected to compete for the SEC Title and still may, but they have struggled at times this year and need a quality win. They are an inconsistent team as they beat LSU by 18 on the road and followed that with a one point home loss to Texas A&M. Tennessee’s best win is over #27 Virginia and #33 Xavier (per Jerry Palm) and their worst loss to #136 UTEP.
Kentucky had grasped control of this series under Calipari and had won six straight games before the disaster last year. Kentucky fans are anxious as the Wildcats are coming off a loss and Tennessee is a big rival. It is at Rupp, which is huge for Kentucky, but you never know. Let’s meet the Volunteers.