The Kentucky Wildcats are back on the road Tuesday night for a date with the Tennessee Volunteers.
Coming off a hard-fought loss to the Kansas Jayhawks, UK is looking to get back on track while also remaining in contention for the SEC regular-season crown. The Cats trail No. 8 Texas A&M by just one game for first place in conference play, but a loss here would severely damage UK's hopes of winning the league.
It won't be easy playing in Thompson-Boling Arena, where the 10-11 Vols have been a tough out for anyone, including the Aggies. Just three weeks ago, Tennessee was ahead by 10 points with just over four minutes left before Texas A&M ran off 11 straight points and escaped with a 92-88 win.
The Vols also have a win over No. 25 South Carolina and are 9-2 at home this season. A big reason why is senior guard Kevin Punter, who is the nation’s ninth-leading scorer at 23.0 ppg. He had a team-high 14 points against UK last season and has scored 30+ points three times this season.
Tuesday’s game features the two winningest active head coaches in the SEC (total wins). Rick Barnes has 614 Division I wins, and John Calipari has 609. Barnes (2) and Calipari (3) also are the only two college coaches to produce multiple 2016 NBA All-Stars.
Here is everything you'll need for the Cats and the Vols facing off Tuesday night.
When: Feb. 2, 2016
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Rosters: UT Roster; UK Roster
Online Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: UK Radio Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt (info and affiliates)
Odds: Kentucky opened as a 5-point favorite and is now favored by 7.5, per Vegas Insider.
Projected UT Starters
#0 G - Kevin Punter 6-2, 190 lbs, Sr.
#34 G - Devon Baulkman, 6-2, 200 lbs, Sr.
#3 G - Robert Hubbs III, 6-4, 230 lbs, Jr.
#33 F - Admiral Schofield, 6-5, 240 lbs. Fr.
#4 F - Armani Moore, 6-4, 217 lbs, Sr.
Projected UK Starters
#3 G - Tyler Ulis, 5-9, 160 lbs, So.
#13 G - Isaiah Briscoe, 6-3, 202 lbs, Fr.
#23 G - Jamal Murray, 6-4, 207 lbs, Fr.
#35 F - Derek Willis, 6-9, 220 lbs, Jr.
#22 F - Alex Poythress, 6-8, 230 lbs, Sr.
My Prediction: Coming off a hard-fought and debilitating loss at Kansas, I expect Kentucky to have a bit of a hangover coming into this game. To go from getting up for a game as big as at No. 6 Kansas to playing a 10-11 Vols team should have the Cats playing sluggish to start this game.
However, the Cats get going in the second half and are able to power past the Vols for a fairly easy road win, which haven't come easy for UK.
Final Score: Kentucky 69, Tennessee 61