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GAMEDAY: Kentucky takes on Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena

© Randy Sartin | USATSI

© Randy Sartin | USATSI

Kentucky is entering enemy territory for the fourth-straight Saturday. Of all the hostile environments, this one has been the most unkind to the Cats.

The Wildcats have lost four straight games in Knoxville, dating back to Devin Booker’s outstanding February of 2015. He made a pair of threes to score a game-high 18 points in Kentucky’s 66-48 win. Kentucky is only 3-6 against the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena since John Calipari became UK’s head coach.

“It’s not great, but it’s not 0-9,” Calipari said Friday afternoon. “Anytime I’ve been in that building, it’s packed and it’s like a game and it’s a significant game. This one will be. They’re a physical team. They play well. They’re well coached. They run their stuff. Defensively, they’ll grind you. They’ll press you. They’ll deny you. He (Rick Barnes) does a little bit of everything. It’ll be a hard challenge for us.”

Luckily for the Cats, Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield aren’t walking through that door. Rick Barnes replaced his entire starting lineup from a team that earned a two-seed before falling to Purdue in the Sweet 16. Jordan Bowden is the only significant returner after Lamonte Turner suffered a season-ending injury in December.

Despite the radical changes on their roster, the Vols are 13-9, 5-4 in SEC play. The played Kansas down to the wire at Phog Allen and recently won on the road at Alabama. In a year where the bubble is forgiving, a win over Kentucky could easily put them in the hunt for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Even though an SEC regular season title is not once again on the line, the stakes will still be high when the ball is tipped at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.

Vegas, TV, Radio

The Wildcats are 2.5-point favorites in Vegas with a total of 131. UK has a 5-5 record ATS since the start of SEC play.

The Wildcats return to CBS at 1:00 p.m. ET with Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery on the call. If you would rather listen to The Voice of the Wildcats, you have multiple options.

  • AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
  • FM: 98.1 WBUL
  • Satellite: XM-190 and Sirius-211
  • Online: iHeart Radio

The Vols have a Ringer

When the Vols lost Turner, they could have easily waved the white flag on this season. At their most desperate hour, Barnes found relief in Uruguay. Santiago Vescovi became eligible at the start of SEC play, scoring 18 points in his debut against LSU. In his first ten games the 6’3″ sharpshooter has scored 10.1 ppg. and knocked down 36.4% of his three-point attempts. If he gets hot, the Cats are in trouble.

Boston, Clarke in the hunt for Naismith Honors

Future Wildcats BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke are among 10 semifinalists for the 2020 Naismith High School Trophy, given each year to the best prep basketball player in America. The list will be trimmed to five in two weeks. Boston and Clarke also earned spots in the Iverson Roundball Classic alongside Lance Ware, the power forward who’s celebrating a birthday today.

College Basketball on TV

  • Noon: #3 Kansas at TCU on ESPN2
  • Noon: #18 LSU at #11 Auburn on ESPN
  • Noon: #16 Michigan State at Michigan on Fox
  • 2:00: Purdue at Indiana on ESPN
  • 2:00: Florida at Ole Miss on ESPN2
  • 2:00: #13 West Virginia at Oklahoma
  • 2:30: #12 Seton Hall at #10 Villanova on Fox
  • 4:00: Virginia at #5 Louisville on ESPN
  • 4:00: Texas Tech at Texas on ESPN2
  • 6:00: Oklahoma State at #1 Baylor on ESPN2
  • 6:00: #7 Duke at North Carolina on ESPN

You probably don’t even want to watch that last game. I mean, look at those uniforms. Disgusting.

XFL 2020 Kicks Off

The XFL is back like it never left. Vince McMahon is bringing spring football back to America 20 years after one failed season. This time around things are different. Instead of promoting the cheerleaders, they’re promoting Jeff Badet’s visors. Airing on multiple networks, here’s where you can find football action today before Austin MacGinnis kicks off the Dallas Renegades’ season on Sunday.

  • 2:00: Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders on ABC
  • 5:00: LA Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks on Fox

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Don’t tell that to the Kentucky football team.



The KSR Pregame Show is LIVE from KSBar and Grille

The action begins at 10:30 a.m. ET. You can hear it all on 630 WLAP.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

4 Comments for GAMEDAY: Kentucky takes on Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena

  1. spincr4hire
    10:00 am February 8, 2020 Permalink

    Does UT have a new breed of floppers this season? Haven’t watched them much.

  2. ukkatzfan
    10:12 am February 8, 2020 Permalink

    The worst part of this game is that it is the battle of the checkerboards. Something is rotten in Denmark when it smells that bad. If ours is about Secretariat, then what horse is Tenn’ about ? Checkerboard is appropriate though, cause someone is playing games with us somewhere. Can be a chapter in the sequel…..” Hey Mitch ! not you turtleneck. I am speaking to the AD this time.

  3. bbn606
    10:43 am February 8, 2020 Permalink

    Nothing says Tennessee like checkerboards. I guess we are just the copy cats on that. So sad.

    • CrystalBall
      10:57 am February 8, 2020 Permalink

      Actually, Ky had the checkboard long before Tenn.