Tennessee is looking for some revenge tonight at Thompson-Boling Arena. They’ll welcome the No. 4 ranked Kentucky Wildcats to town, just a few weeks after a 28 point blowout loss to that same team in Lexington.
Since then, Tennessee is 7-1 and hasn’t lost in conference play. That streak has pushed them back into the regular season SEC title race, now sitting in third. Both Tennessee and Kentucky continue to trail Auburn up top.
Kentucky shot the lights out in Lexington against the Volunteers — a ridiculous 67 percent from the field. Rick Barnes admitted his team made some mistakes during that contest, something he’s hoping to fix tonight.
“The way we turned the ball over and allowed them to score a lot off turnovers, you’re not going to win basketball games anywhere doing that,” Barnes said on Monday. “Transition defense is also important because they play as fast as any team does in the country. If you’re late getting back or not on edge, they’re going to score quickly, so we have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball.”
The oddsmakers believe Tennessee will right some of those wrongs tonight. Kentucky is just a one-point favorite as of Wednesday morning, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Perhaps an injury to TyTy Washington helped keep that number close. The stud freshman guard left this weekend’s game against Florida, and his status for tonight’s game is unknown. He’s averaging over 12 points per game this season.
Tennessee, of course, has since lost power forward Olivier Nkamhoua for the season. It’s going to be interesting to see how this new look frontcourt handles potential National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe.
Tennessee and Kentucky are set for a 9 p.m. ET tip-off tonight on ESPN.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.