While the Kentucky Wildcats’ 5-12 season is something no one around Lexington, losing to Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Volunteers unfortunately is.
With the Volunteers’ 82-71 win over UK on Saturday, Barnes is now 8-5 against UK since taking over as Tennessee head coach prior to the 2015-16 season. When accounting for his time at both Clemson and Texas, Barnes is a solid 9-7 against the Cats.
Not only has Barnes dominated UK, but he has also done so at now a historic rate. With Saturday night’s win, he became the only active head coach in college basketball that has defeated Kentucky at least three times at Rupp Arena.
The Vols have won three of the last four meetings with the Cats at Rupp, winning in 2018, 2020 and 2021. Their lone defeat during that span came in 2019 in a matchup that saw UK upset what was a No. 1-ranked Tennessee squad.
What makes Barnes’s run even more impressive is that all-time, Tennessee has won just seven games at Rupp Arena.
In addition to the three Barnes wins, the Vols have topped the Cats in Lexington in 1977, 1979, 1999 and 2006.