Featured Video from Scott Reichel
In what is undoubtedly the biggest must-watch game of the weekend, the #1 Tennessee Volunteers (23-1 / 11-0 SEC) will be doing battle with the #5 Kentucky Wildcats (20-4 / 9-2 SEC) at Rupp Arena set for an 8 p.m. ET tip on Saturday night.
The number is 19 people, because the Cats will be dealing with a Vols program that has dished out a nation-leading 19 straight wins coming into tonight’s big SEC tilt in Lexington, KY.
Kentucky almost made this a clash of two teams riding lengthy winning streaks, but the Cats fell to LSU this past Tuesday night in anticipation of this home outing against the #1 team in all the land.
Buckle Up! This is going to be one hell of a basketball game between two programs that need this win, want this win, and can certainly not afford to be on the losing end of the final score either.
Vols Carrying Nation’s Longest Winning Streak Into Rupp Arena
19 straight games baby, and that is some impressive stuff from an SEC squad that comes into Rupp Arena ranked #1 in all the land for this first of 2 meetings between these programs this season.
Tomorrow on @CollegeGameDay (11 a.m., ESPN): 'It’s Not About Me' details how serious reflection and tough love from his family led to the reinvention of Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) February 15, 2019
Keep your schedule open for March 2 at 2 p.m. ET when these two head to Knoxville for version #2 of the series that could decide who takes the top seed in not only the SEC Tournament, but could also take that #1 seed to the other little tournament thingy we all know and love that’s coming soon enough.
Oh, it’s games like this that make the anticipation of March Madness even more tasty, as two of the top-5 programs in the nation square off tonight, and we get to see it again later baby.. Woooo!
Yeah, call me a fan please, because my office board already has an 8 p.m. post-it on it that says ‘Vols V Cats – 8 PM’.
My wife could ask me to go to Olive Garden, or one of our friends could ask us to dinner in the City but I am busy, so don’t bother me while this game is on because we now interrupt this marriage to bring you a big college hoops game LOL
Remember now, what Kentucky lacks in upperclassmen, the Vols surely have their to show-off tonight, starting with my man Admiral Schofield! The Senior guard wears #5 like a lot of big names around the landscape of hoops this year, and the dude is just fun to watch and that smile lights his face up too. He’s had plenty to smile about, being second on this squad in scoring bringing in 6.7 PPG in his final year wearing a Vols uni.
Schofield picked up his 4th double-double of the year last time out with his 21 & 10 night against South Carolina that extended the Vols win streak to 19 games last Wednesday night in Knoxville as the Vols completed a 3-game home stand.
Junior forward Grant Williams saw his team-leading average of 19.4 PPG come down a bit with his 8 point night against the Gamecocks, ending his run of 9 straight outings with double-digits.
Tough Way To Lose; No Time To Dwell On It!
Now, I gave out LSU and the +8 to hang with Kentucky on Tuesday night, but what a wild way for a game to end, and I am sure Coach Cal is still f**king pissed off about it too.
We'll meet Tennessee tomorrow in @Rupp_Arena for the 226th time in program history but Saturday will mark the first time both teams are ranked in the top five. Gotta bring it tomorrow, #BBN. #DreamBIG #UTvsUK pic.twitter.com/Gm2PuVGVhR
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 16, 2019
Kentucky was likely headed towards overtime against LSU, but Tigers senior forward Kavell Bigby-WIlliams found himself at the rim to touch home the game-winning shot on a rebound with only .04 seconds left to play.
Coach Calipari wasn’t losing his mind at the end of the game because he thought the clock ran out, as he was screaming that the ball was still in the cylinder when Williams touched the ball through the net, and he is absolutely right.
I think that ball was still at least 1/3 in the cylinder and Williams’ touch should have been disallowed, and imagine that Coach Cal pretty much just had to go to the locker room, curse out the refs and say, “Okay, well that’s a shit way to head to our game with Tennessee on Saturday, but we need to put it behind us right now!”
He is also right about that, because what the hell can you do about a blown call or at least a controversial call that ended a game like that?
It is what it is, and this is a game at Rupp Arena with the #1 team coming to town, so there is no time to reflect on something like that when this much is at stake tonight regardless of what happened against LSU.
Sophomore forward PJ Washington led the Cats with 20 points to add to his team-leading 14.4 PPG average this year. Washington has gone for 20+ in 6 of his last 7 games and continues to just be outstanding this season all around.
The Cats bench only provided 10 points on the night, with freshman forward EJ Montgomery grabbing 6 of those points to go along with his 5 boards in the loss.
• Wildcats are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up loss.
• Under is 41-17 in Wildcats last 58 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
• Under is 15-5-2 in the last 22 meetings.
• Volunteers are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games following three or more consecutive home games.
• Volunteers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
• Under is 28-13 in Volunteers last 41 Saturday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Oh my goodness, thank you for all 3 of those doggie points, and if you are a teaser kind of guy, I mean why would you not move that up to grab Tennessee at like +7 or +8 depending on your amount of tease.
Anyway, I have +3 all day, and twice on Saturday with the Vols, and yes, maybe LSU got away with that W, but it still doesn’t take away from the Vols momentum regardless of how the LSU game ended.
Tennessee +3 is my 4* Play on the Side.
Prediction: Vols +3
Full-Game Total Pick
Under me here, because the Vols are going to be just fine tonight doing what they do. I see this as a 73 – 70 Vols win, much less giving me points on that side play, so the total comes with it.
The Under 146 is the 3* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Under 146