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Kentucky vs. Tennessee: Game time, TV channel, online stream, odds & predictions

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Everything you need for Round 2 of Wildcats vs. Vols.

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Jamie Boggs - Sea of Blue

Tennessee Volunteers (16-13) at Kentucky Wildcats (24-5)

  • Game Time: 9:00 pm EST on Tuesday, March 3rd.
  • Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
  • TV Channel: Tonight's game can be seen on ESPN.
  • Announcers: Karl Ravech, Jimmy Dykes and Marty Smith will be on the call.
  • Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and on the UK Sports Network.
  • Online radio: TuneIn broadcast or UKAthletics.com.
  • Online Stream: The game can be streamed online at WatchESPN.
  • Replay: WatchESPN and the SEC Network (check local listings).
  • Odds: Kentucky is an 8.5-point favorite over the Vols. ESPN BPI gives Kentucky a 80.1% chance of victory. KenPom gives the Wildcats a 77% chance of winning.
  • Rosters: UK | UT
  • Tickets
  • Live Stats
  • Predictions: KenPom projects a 70-61 victory for Kentucky. TeamRankings is also going with a 70-61 win for the Cats, while numberFire projects a victory for the home team.

The Kentucky Wildcats are SEC regular-season champions, but that does not mean the season is over. The Wildcats have two rivalry games to finish the season, the first of which features Tennessee coming to town on Tuesday.

For the first time since 2012, Kentucky will try to beat Tennessee twice in the same season. That’s right, Kentucky’s last national championship season was also the last time Kentucky got two victories over the Volunteers in the same year. The Wildcats come into this one as heavy favorites, but should not take this game lightly.

Kentucky has not lost since winning in Knoxville, but they needed a breakout game from Johnny Juzang to pull off the victory. Tennessee has been up and down, losing two of their last three. However, they did just get a huge win against Florida, who took Kentucky to the limit in Rupp less than two weeks ago.

In the first matchup, the Vols were led by freshman guard Santiago Vescovi, who hit 4/11 three-point attempts and scored 18 points. Tennessee also got 16 each from their two leading scorers, Jordan Bowden and John Fulkerson. Fulkerson also successfully became the new Tennessee player that gets under the skin of Kentucky fans.

The Volunteers are one of the most balanced teams you will see with five players averaging double-figures. However, there is not a specific thing at which the team excels. They do not have great size, they do not shoot from the outsides exceptionally well, and they have no big star to give the ball to over and over.

For the Vols, it seems to be a different guy stepping up every game. Fulkerson is coming off scoring 15 at Arkansas in a loss and 22 in Tennessee’s victory over Florida. If there is going to be a player for the Vols that goes off on Tuesday, I would rather it not be Fulkerson.

Yves Pons is another guy from Tennessee to watch for. He did not have the best game against the Wildcats the first time around, but he is the one guy with the athleticism to make an impact. At a muscular 6-6, 215, he is a matchup problem for Kentucky at the guard position if he can get going offensively. Kahlil Whitney would have been a strong choice to defend him, but...you know.

The big question mark night-in and night-out for Kentucky has been Ashton Hagans. Hagans is allegedly the heart and soul of this team, but occasionally heart failure has caused the Wildcats to struggle. He has had four or more turnovers in half of the last eight games. For a team that relies on defense and efficiency, that cannot happen down the stretch for this team to be successful.

The entire Kentucky team is coming off of a horrible shooting performance. Together, Hagans, Quickley, and Maxey shot 28% from the floor and the team somehow found a way to get a win over Auburn. They also shot just 15.4% as a team, which is the lowest we have seen in quite some time.

But Kentucky has also seen several guys step up throughout the season. It was Juzang in Knoxville, EJ Montgomery has had several good games as of late, and Immanuel Quickley has emerged as the team’s best scorer. Of course, Nick Richards has been almost as consistent as anyone in the paint and Tyrese Maxey has been contributing in a great number of ways.

You can never say never, especially in a rivalry game. But unless Tennessee comes in and shoots the lights out or the wheels completely fall off for the Wildcats, this is a game that Kentucky should win. It is the last home game of the season, the last game in Rupp for several guys headed to the NBA, and a crucial game to stay ahead of the curve on seeding. Rupp should be rockin’, and the Wildcats should come out on top.