During a Big Orange Caravan stop in Memphis, Barnes made the declaration that the rivalry series between Memphis and Tennessee would be renewed.
“It’s going to happen,” Barnes said. “We've just got to get the date ready, and whether we start here or start there.”
The two schools haven’t played since 2013, after playing eight straight seasons dating back to 2006. You can blame Josh Pastner for that, who didn’t want the Vols playing in Memphis due to recruiting concerns. Pastner has since moved on to Georgia Tech.
Tubby Smith is running the show now in Memphis and is open to bringing the game back. The two sides have apparently been in talks for over a year, trying to make it happen.
This is a fantastic idea. Tennessee and Memphis should absolutely play every season. Those games were always fun and hotly contested. The 2008 1-2 game in Memphis will go down as one of the best moments in Tennessee Basketball history.
Tennessee and Memphis aren’t where they once were — I don’t think either side will be challenging for a number one ranking anytime soon. But this is a fun in-state game that should be played ever single year. It sounds like we’re about to get back to that point, which should be a lot of fun.