Tennessee Volunteers Vs. Memphis Tigers | Preview and Predictions

Jeff SmithCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2009

THURSDAY, DEC. 31, 2009

No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers (9-2) vs. Memphis Tigers (9-2)

The No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers will travel to the FedEx Forum on Thursday to face off against the Memphis Tigers in Memphis, TN.

Memphis edged out the Vols 54-52 the last time these two teams met on Jan. 24, 2009.

Duke transfer Elliot Williams scored 27 points, including five of six three-point attempts, as Memphis cruised to an 87-67 victory over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Monday. Williams has provided a much-needed go-to guy and leads the team with 20.1 points per game.

Pierre Henderson-Niles contributed with 15 points in the win. The victory extended the Tigers' home winning streak to 22 games and a 100-10 record at FedEx Forum.

Memphis has neither progressed nor regressed into a team that has the talent to defend its C-USA title this season. Their only two losses came by way of a struggling UMass team, 73-72, and a 58-57 loss to Kansas, while their nine wins came from a pretty soft early schedule.

Tyler Smith led his team with 16 points as No. 16 Tennessee cruised to a 99-78 victory over North Carolina A&T on Wednesday night. The win bumped the Vols to No. 13 this week.

Freshman walk-on guard Skylar McBee hit three three-pointers in the win and had a total of 12 points in the win. McBee’s threes helped in the win but fell short of helping Tennessee overcome its current three-point shooting slide, as the Vols were only 5-of-26 from behind the arc against North Carolina A&T and are only 11-of-68 (16.2 percent) over their last three games.

This is the Vols' first true road test after falling to USC 77-55 on Dec. 19.

Odds are not yet posted.

Since 1995, Tennessee has a record against the spread when at home of 109-98 and a record when away of 76-75.

Expect the Tigers to keep their home streak alive, edging out a narrow margin victory.

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