Kentucky vs. Tennessee: Full Game Preview
|Kentucky||A Goodwin 13.9||N Noel 9.5||R Harrow 3.2|
|Tennessee||J McRae 13.7||J Stokes 8.6||T Golden 3.8|
No. 25 Kentucky travels to Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday to take on Tennessee. The game tips off at 1 p.m. EST and you can catch it on CBS. The Wildcats defeated the Volunteers 75-65 on Jan. 15 and are 9-1 against them over the past four years.
Kentucky is currently in second place in the SEC and Tennessee is in eigth.
The Wildcats were defeated by Florida 69-52 on Feb. 12 despite 10 points from Julius Mays. He is putting up 9.3 points per game while also averaging 3 assists per game. For the Volunteers, Jarnell Stokes finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the 58-46 win over Vanderbilt on Feb. 13. With 8.6 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game, he has team-best marks in both categories.
Kentucky has an advantage in two key statistical areas. The Wildcats have the upper hand over the Volunteers in blocked shots, 7 per game to 3 per game. In addition, Kentucky has an advantage in scoring, 75 points per game to 63 points per game. Tennessee will hope to exploit their strengths, which include: free throw rate at 43.3 percent and defensive rebounding percentage at 72.5 percent.
- Kentucky is better under pressure, and has defeated Tennessee in five out of the last nine games decided by five points or fewer.
- Kyle Wiltjer is ranked 4th in the SEC in three-pointers.
- Nerlens Noel is ranked 26th nationally in rebounds, 37th nationally in steals, and 1st nationally in blocks.
- Kentucky has been the favorite 29 out of the last 36 times.
- Kentucky has more Final Four appearances over the last 10 years than Tennessee (two vs. zero).
- That must sting. Kentucky has blown out Tennessee by 20 points or more on six occasions since 1996.
- Kentucky has more NCAA Championships over the last 10 years than Tennessee (one vs. zero).
- Archie Goodwin is ranked 8th in the SEC in points.
- The Kentucky steals leader (Nerlens Noel, 50 steals) has more steals than the Tennessee steals leader (Josh Richardson, 21 steals).
- You'll do better on next semester's exams, right? Kentucky currently has a higher Academic Progress Rate (963 to 962) than Tennessee, per the NCAA.
- AP voters think more highly of Kentucky and ranked them in the AP Top 25 more often over the past 10 years than Tennessee (145 vs. 77).