Tennessee Volunteers vs Kentucky Wildcats

Reid Travis and his 5th ranked Kentucky Wildcats play host to Grant Williams and the top ranked Tennessee Volunteers in a showdown between possible Final Four squads. This is the first leg of a home and home series which will be broadcast on ESPN on Saturday, February 16th at 8pm EST at Rupp Arena.

How to Watch

Where: Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY, USA.

When: Saturday, February 16 at 8pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): ESPN |

Tennessee Volunteers(Away)

Head Coach: Rick Barnes {Overall: 23-1, .958 W-L% | Conference: 11-0, 1st in SEC}

The number one team in the nation, Tennessee, faces it's biggest road test of the season, as Kentucky will be the first ranked team the Volunteers will face away from Thompson-Boling Arena. Rick Barnes' squad has faced a relatively light schedule in terms of ranked opponents, with their lone loss coming to then 2nd ranked Kansas 87-81 on a neutral floor on November 23rd.

In their most recent contest, Tennessee beat the South Carolina Gamecocks at home in Knoxville 85-73 on February 13th. Senior guard, Admiral Schofield led all scorers with 21 points to go along with his 10 rebounds. Junior forward, Grant Williams, who leads the team in scoring was relatively quiet with just 8 points, but filled the rest of the box score with 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 blocked shots. Most impressively, the Volunteers won this game by double digits, despite allowing the Gamecocks to shoot over 60% from deep, on 14-23 shooting.

Kentucky Wildcats(Home)

Head Coach: John Calipari {Overall: 20-4, .833 W-L% | Conference: 9-2, 3rd in SEC}

Coach John Calipari's Wildcats look to silence the hype surrounding Tennessee's climb to the top of the polls and solidify themselves as number 1 seeds come tournament time. Kentucky will have Big Blue Nation on their side at Rupp Arena in the first leg in this series, and the home team will look to send the fans home happy after getting upset at home on February 12th.

Kentucky's 73-71 loss to 19th ranked LSU on Tuesday came down to a controversial, buzzer beating tip-in that appeared to be offensive goaltending. Sophomore forward, PJ Washington led the Wildcats in scoring with 20 points, while freshman guard Keldon Johnson added 16 points. Shooting was an issue in more ways than one in this game, as the Cats were just 5-19 from beyond the arc, and missed seven free throws, the latter of which is not unheard of for a Calipari coached squad.

Tennessee Roster Notes

Sophomore big man, Zach Kent is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Kent has yet to play this season.

Kentucky Roster Notes

Guard Quade Green is no longer on the team after announcing his transfer to Washington back in December.

Head-to-Head: Admiral Schofield vs Reid Travis

Admiral Schofield

Shooting Guard/Small Forward | 6-6 241lb (198cm, 109kg) | Zion-Benton Township HS | Zion, IL | Senior

16.5 PPG | 2.5 APG | 6.3 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.0 TOV | .489 FG% | .402 3P%

Reid Travis

Power Forward | 6-8 238lb (203cm, 107kg) | DeLaSalle HS| Minneapolis, MN | Senior

11.6 PPG | 0.9 APG | 7.0 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.8 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .519 FG% | .273 3P%

This matchup highlights two senior leaders who both like to display their physicality down low, but also have the ability to step out to the perimeter and keep defenses honest with their shooting stroke.

Admiral Schofield's career progression has played out the way every college coach would want from a recruit. Schofield's production has shown improvement every year since arriving on campus in 2015. His decision to return to school after getting serious looks from NBA teams after his junior year has paid dividends for both his draft stock and his team's performance. His intimidating frame, and ability to play on the perimeter allows him to dominate college competition, and should allow him to transition to the professional ranks with relative ease.

A senior in the starting rotation for Kentucky sticks out like a sore thumb with the one-and-done era in full swing with Calipari running the show. Reid Travis, a graduate transfer from Stanford, however, has possibly been the most valuable addition the Wildcats made this past offseason. Reid has embraced his role as the veteran leader for this young team despite his scoring being considerably down from his Stanford days, while his work on the offensive glass has made him an invaluable weapon to Kentucky's offense.

Tennessee at Kentucky Predictions and Odds

Kentucky is listed as a 2.5 point favourite by oddsmakers at home over Tennessee, while the over/under is set at 146.

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