Tennessee is looking to move back into the No. 1 seed conversation. Kentucky is simply trying to make the NCAA Tournament. Needless to say, today’s matchup in Lexington is a big one for both sides.
Kentucky came into Knoxville a month ago and beat the Volunteers, 63-56. Tennessee lost the rebound battle in that one, and once again saw their offense disappear late. It was a win that got John Calipari’s team back into tournament contention, but they’ve struggled over the last couple of weeks.
“They just absolutely annihilated us on the glass,” Rick Barnes said of the first meeting. “I think doubled us up. The fact is, we had a lot of blown coverages. They played really good basketball. But we’ve got to do a better job on the boards. Certainly we’ve got to do a better job with our scouting report.”
Kentucky fell to Arkansas and Georgia last week, pushing them right back down to the bubble. Another win over Tennessee would be huge for Calipari, who suddenly is facing plenty of pressure.
The Wildcats are 12-3 inside of Rupp Arena this season, with the losses coming to South Carolina, Kansas and Arkansas. Tennessee is 4-3 on the road.
Tennessee bounced back from back to back buzzer-beater losses to Vanderbilt and Missouri this week, knocking off No. 1 Alabama on Wednesday.
Tennessee is a two point favorite against Kentucky this afternoon, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Injury update: Josiah-Jordan James and Julian Phillips are game-time decisions once again, per Rick Barnes.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.
How to watch
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Streaming: CBS Sports