TV/Stream: ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Radio: Mickaholics Anonymous
Stats: Let's see if the NCAA GameCenter is worthwhile.
The Lady Vols will headline the second game of the day in Knoxville, as #10 Pittsburgh / #7 Chattanooga tip off at 11. So at 1:30 (or whatever reasonable time thereafter, depending on the first game's overtime scenarios), Tennessee dips its toe in the water of the 2015 tournament.
About Boise State:
Let's just jump straight to the bullet points.
- A middle-range MWC team who got hot in the conference tournament. In the MW, Boise was 11-7 during the season, and then took out UNLV/SJSU/UNM to win the conference and the auto-bid into the NCAA. There's a reason they're a 15 seed, and they only win if Tennessee lets them.
- First game against an RPI top-50 opponent. Their selection sheet reads a split vs. #57 Fresno, a split vs. #84 Colorado State, and a 2-1 vs. #98 New Mexico. All three losses were on the road. In fact, their best road win was against RPI #131 Yale. Second-best? #233 UNLV.
- Look for a 7-deep rotation, effectively. It could be as many as 11, but that would be the case if Tennessee gets a quick lead and Boise decides to let all the players in on the action. Nobody averages 30+ minutes/game here, but Deanna Weaver gets 29 and leads with 12 points/game. There is some decent height (6'-3" Miquelle Askew and 6'-4" Camille Redmon), but they haven't been dominant against mid-level competition.
- 17 turnovers forced per game. Can't be lazy, though. They'll be looking for steals, as it's the one thing Tennessee can do to keep them in this one.
PREDICTION: 86-53 Tennessee. An early jump, and they'll just play it out. Boise's players should have fun in the venue with a lively crowd and all the glitz. Chris will go with 94-54 Tennessee.
REFCON LEVEL: 2. It's likely to get a refshow ref in, but it really shouldn't matter other than being talking fodder for the peanut gallery (that's us). Still, if the time affords Friday night, we'll have figured out where the refs were on Friday and which ones are available for early games in Knoxville. (Hint: it's Mattingly.)