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Tennessee Volunteers @ Kentucky Wildcats: Open Game Thread

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This is the biggest game of the SEC season so far for the Kentucky Wildcats, as the Tennessee Volunteers bring their orangeness into the hallowed Rupp Arena, where seven ultimate banners hang.

Game particulars are as follows, courtesy of

Date & Time Sat., Feb. 13, 9:00 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Live Video via ESPN360
Live Blog
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.

The Volunteers are the only team in the SEC that can legitimately claim the word, "rival," with Kentucky when it comes to basketball in the SEC. Many teams may consider UK a rival, but Tennessee, well, they actually are a rival.

More after the jump.

What UK needs to do to win:

  • Get the ball into the low post, where UT is at a nominal disadvantage;
  • Guard the three. Tennessee can be dangerous from the arc;
  • Avoid turnovers. That will be hard in this game, as UT has a strong, active press with real athletes to back it up;
  • Rebound the basketball like they have all year.

What Kentucky must avoid:

  • Steals. If Tennessee gets a bunch of steals, UK will likely lose;
  • Bad shots. Kentucky has mostly avoided bad shots during the SEC season, but they had some games early in the year where that was a problem.
  • Failure to get back on defense. Tennessee loves to run as much as UK does, and that means that Kentucky cannot allow them to get 2- and 3-on-one in the open floor.
  • Poor offensive spacing. This is a problem that occasionally happens, and UT will try to force the 'Cats into getting cramped up near the lane.

Tennessee is not ranked #12 in the land for nothing -- they are a talented, athletic and occasionally dominant team, as the Kansas Jayhawks found out to their woe. Although the Vols are playing in Rupp, they will be wanting to validate their team by defeating the highly ranked 'Cats in their own house.

Kentucky must not let that happen.

Go, 'CATS!