On paper, you can’t get much more even than this one. KenPom’s 18th and 19th ranked teams will square off today in Thompson-Boling Arena, as the Kansas Jayhawks come to town for yet another meeting with the Tennessee Volunteers.
These programs (and coaches) know each other well, somehow finding a way to meet every couple of years or so. Kansas has won the last three in the series, including last year’s matchup in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. They also won in the preseason NIT in 2018, beating the Vols in overtime. You have to go back to 2010 to find Tennessee’s last win over the Jayhawks — the Skylar McBee game!
Kansas holds a 4-1 record all time against Tennessee, but the Volunteers are favored in this spot. Tennessee is a 3.5 point favorite as of Saturday morning after opening as a 4.5 point favorite on Friday.
Tennessee is coming off a win over Mississippi State, which snapped a two game skid. Kansas has dropped three of their last four games, all three of those losses coming on the road. Both former top six teams, Tennessee and Kansas are struggling right now in a bit of a mid-season slump.
Rick Barnes was able to get Jaden Springer back on the floor on Tuesday against Mississippi State, who immediately made a difference. Now with a few more days of rest on that ankle, Springer should be ready to make a big impact tonight.
Names to know for Kansas
- Junior Guard Ochai Agbaji: 14 ppg, 41.3 percent from three-point range
- Freshman Forward Jalen Wilson: 6-foot-8, 12.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg
- Junior Forward David McCormack: 6-foot-10, 11.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Tip-off time: 6 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Streaming Link: Watch ESPN
Radio: Vol Network
Odds: Tennessee -3.5