TV: Fox Sports South or not Fox Sports South
If this reads like a mailed-in preview, consider it a statement on the Lady Vols' effort on the road; I'll do more when they do more. Defense and low word count posts don't slump, but making this preview over 600 words is taking so many midrange verbal jumpers. The bullet points have been the same for weeks.
Sometimes we're nice about our opponent, playing them up, talking about how they can beat the Lady Vols. (Okay, maybe that's just Hooper.) Auburn: not super likely to be one of those teams. They shoot 28.1% from beyond the arc, Tra'Cee Tanner is their only plus scorer as a 6'3" post, and everyone else is bad volume shooters who can't hit free throws. They barely crack the top 100 in RPI, have lost five straight (including a 44-42 game to Hampton; i'm not checking that box score and you can't make me), and have been giving up about 0.9 points per possession on defense.
Auburn's going to slow the game down, going to ugly the game up, and the Lady Vols are going to let them, because we've seen this game six times already. Forgive me for not getting super excited about a 23-15 halftime score.
We're skipping the bullet points for this one, because the only key to victory is simple: act like it's a home game. Sounds simple in theory, is tough in execution, but man, the Lady Vols have been dead on the road before doing just enough to win in the second half. The next complete road game they play this season will be the first, but they have a few home wins to rely on.
PREDICTION: 67-53 Tennessee. Hooper is going with 70-55 Tennessee, so I bumped down my original 68-53 prediction so there's something to play for.
MORE TIME FOR MOORE: 5 minutes.
GRATUITOUS SHOT AT BAYLOR ALERT: IS BAYLOR SOMEHOW RANKED AHEAD OF THIS TEAM EVEN THOUGH THEY'VE ONLY PLAYED ONE TOP TWENTY TEAM? Of course they are. They're also trying to get out of their series with UConn. Sometimes I think Baylor would be happier switching places with UConn and just rolling up huge wins against a mid-major slate.