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The week ahead for Tennessee basketball

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NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time all season, Tennessee was hit with COVID issues. It was really bad timing too, coming ahead of a big SEC opener at Alabama. The Crimson Tide trailed all game long, but found a way to win at the end to send the Volunteers to an 0-1 mark in league play.

Tennessee will be looking to rebound this week.

Ole Miss will come to town on Wednesday night, looking to get their SEC slate rolling after a postponement with Florida last week. The Rebels are 8-4, coming off of an upset loss to Samford on December 21st. Tennessee will be their first matchup in over two weeks.

Kermit Davis’ bunch has picked up good wins over Dayton and Memphis, but has dropped games to Marquette, Western Kentucky, Samford and Boise State. Ole Miss is 107th in KenPom’s rankings, placing 194th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Tennessee had the weekend off, which was great news for Kennedy Chandler and John Fulkerson who tested positive for COVID last Wednesday. We’ll see if they’re available against the Rebels.

The Volunteers will certainly need them back by the weekend with a trip to LSU set for Saturday night. It will be yet another tough road test in early-season conference play, this time coming against the 16th-ranked Tigers.

LSU took their first loss of the season last week to Auburn, 70-55. Will Wade’s team remains a bit of a mystery after a light non-conference slate to start the year. Liberty, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech are their most impressive wins to this point.

We’re going to find out a lot about LSU this week, with games against Kentucky and Tennessee this week. Currently, the Tigers slot in 13th in KenPom, ranking 80th in offensive efficiency.

It’s a completely new roster for Wade, led by forwards Tari Eason and Darius Days. Missouri transfer Xavier Pinson is running point for LSU, providing some nice veteran stability.

Tip-off against Ole Miss is set for 7 p.m. ET.

Tip-off at LSU will be at 6 p.m. ET.