How to watch Tennessee Volunteers (17-5, 7-3 in SEC) vs Kentucky Wildcats (17-6, 6-4 in SEC)
Game Time: 7 P.M. EDT on Feb. 6, 2018
Location: Rupp Arena
Live Online Stream: WatchESPN.
Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington or online at UKAthletics.com.
Odds: UK opened as a 1-point favorite, but KenPom projected the Cats to be a 1-point underdog at home.
Predictions: UK has a 45.6-percent chance to win, according to ESPN’s matchup predictor. KenPom gives UK an 46-percent chance of winning and projects an 71-69 win for the Vols.
While we wait for the game, enjoy some new highlights of UK signee Keldon Johnson:
Saturday was one of the most embarrassing games of the John Calipari era. While this year’s team is obviously challenged on the offensive end, it was quite a disappointing afternoon in Columbia.
Though Las Vegas projected Kentucky to lose to the Missouri Tigers, a win would have been a quality building block for the Wildcats down the stretch. However, only Shai Gilgeous-Alexander decided to show up for the game and the Cats failed to stage a third straight miracle comeback.
Kentucky is now 17-6 (6-4 in the SEC) with four of their six losses coming to unranked teams. The Wildcats will have four of their remaining eight games on the road. As they’ve already lost five on the road or at neutral sites, they’ll have a difficult task at hand finishing the season on a high note.
Earlier this season, the Cats traveled to Knoxville, and were embarrassed by the Volunteers for one of those five road/neutral losses. This Tuesday, they’ll have the opportunity to avenge themselves on their home court.
This game will ultimately prove whether the Wildcats had a poor stretch of playing inconsistent basketball or if they’re really just too young and limited on offense to play a balanced 40-minute basketball game.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index is currently projecting Kentucky has just under a 50-percent chance of victory.
The biggest mystery following Saturday’s game is why Kevin Knox only took six shots and scored just five points while being on the court for only 25 minutes. Gilgeous-Alexander has undoubtedly been the most consistent Wildcat this season, but in order for Kentucky to take steps towards being elite, Knox will have to take his game to the next level.
Gilgeous-Alexander should have his hands full locking down James Daniel III and Lamonte Turner. Knox, PJ Washington and their fellow freshmen will need to step up their game at both ends to elevate the team’s overall play.
In the paint, Tennessee relies heavily on sophomore stud Grant Williams, who is averaging a team-high 16.2 points to go with 1.3 blocks and 6.2 rebounds per game. He scored 18 against Kentucky back in January, but that largely came with PJ Washington out of the game due to cramps. Prior to exiting the game, PJ had locked down Williams, so this will be a key matchup to watch Tuesday.
Junior forward Admiral Schofield is also a force down low, averaging 12.5 points and a team-high 6.3 boards and 1.1 steals per contest.
As good as Tennessee is, this is a game Kentucky needs to win to keep the wheels from coming off, as they’re in the midst of a difficult slate of games that includes road games at Texas A&M and at Auburn.