Tennessee is coming off of its latest clunker, losing in Gainesville to Florida on Wednesday night. You can put that one on the board with Kentucky and Colorado — just maddeningly inconsistent performances from a team that has flashed elite dominance more than a few times.
Once again, Rick Barnes has to get this team to bounce back quickly, which is something he was able to do after the Kentucky loss. Today will be a little tougher though, as the Volunteers welcome Bruce Pearl back to Knoxville.
Pearl has Auburn ranked 25th in the nation, coming off of a tough stretch. The Tigers lost games to West Virginia and Texas A&M, which nearly dropped them out of the polls. They bounced back with a 21 point win over Georgia in the midweek, setting them up for a tough trip to No. 2 Tennessee.
“I would think playing Tennessee at Tennessee would be as difficult as winning a Final Four game,” Pearl said earlier this week. “That is what it would be very much equated to.”
Tennessee beat Auburn in Knoxville last season, 67-62. This group is much different, however, obviously now without Jabari Smith leading the charge. Pearl still has Wendell Green running the show though, who is averaging over 13 points per game.
Auburn ranks 26th overall in KenPom’s efficiency rankings, while Tennessee remains ranked second. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Tennessee is a 9.5 point favorite.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.
How to watch
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Streaming: Watch ESPN, ESPN App