The matchup everyone was hoping to see is officially on. No. 22 Tennessee will face No. 3 Kansas on Friday night, with the Battle 4 Atlantis title on the line. Both teams survived big scares on Thursday to advance.
Both sides went into overtime, actually. Kansas squeaked by Wisconsin with a dramatic up and under at the buzzer, while Tennessee salted away USC in the final five minutes. The Volunteers got a 25 point effort from five-star freshman wing Julian Phillips, who for the very first time, was the focal point of the offense. Considering Santiago Vescovi’s and Zakai Zeigler’s early shooting struggles, that’s a trend that probably will continue.
Kansas, now 6-0, already has a signature win over Duke and appears ready to chase another No. 1 seed. The defending champs are loaded once again, led by a core of upperclassmen. Junior forward Jalen Wilson is putting up 24 per game so far, senior guard Kevin McCullar is adding ten and seven. Junior point guard Dajuan Harris makes it all go, averaging just north of six assists per game.
And then there’s the 6-8 freshman sniper Gradey Dick, who is off to a hot start to his college career, averaging over 16 points per game. He’s shooting over 48 percent from three-point range, and he’s got the full green light at all times from Bill Self.
Tennessee will have their hands full today, and they’re going to need Vescovi, Zeigler and Key to be at their best.
- Tennessee is back up to No. 6 in KenPom. Kansas is now ranked 16th.
- Josiah-Jordan James has missed the first two games of this tournament. Will he go today? Rick Barnes called him questionable yesterday, but he was unable to go. Sounds like another game time decision.
- Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Tennessee is favored by -1.5 over Kansas.
- Tennessee is shooting just 24 percent from three-point range (8-33) this week. That will likely have to change tonight.
- The Volunteers haven’t won a Feast Week tournament since 2010, where they captured the preseason NIT crown.
How to Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Streaming: Watch ESPN, ESPN App