Basketball action returns to the Bluegrass when Kentucky tips off tonight at 8 pm ET against the Tennessee Volunteers on ESPN.
The border-rivalry has not been kind to the Cats as of late. Kentucky has lost three of their last four against the Vols and five of the last eight. Luckily for Kentucky, the Vols aren’t exactly playing like the eleventh-best team in the country right now.
Tennessee is making the short trip up I-75 days after losing 52-50 to Ole Miss. That’s right, the Vols only scored 50 points in a basketball game. Tennessee has scored more than 65 points only once since Jan. 7, last week’s 19-point win over Kansas. They might be the only other team in the SEC that’s more offensively challenged than Kentucky.
That’s the good news. The bad news: Tennessee’s defense is the best in America. That’s not hyperbole. They rank first nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency, fourth in points per game allowed and 16th in opponent field goal percentage. Get ready for a rock fight at Rupp Arena.
We renew the series against the opponent we’ve played more than any other.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 6, 2021
Still no Terrence Clarke
The UK forward did not travel with the team to Missouri, instead staying in Lexington to workout with Joel Justus and potentially play in today’s game. John Calipari said if Clarke practiced Thursday and Friday without limping, he would get the green light to play tonight. Mum was the word until Calipari spoke with Dick Vitale in their pre-production meeting. Dickie V spilled the beans that Clarke will be unable to go yet again. Kentucky needs weapons in the backcourt, yet Clarke has not played in 2021.
Vegas, TV, Radio
Kentucky is a 3.5-point underdog in Tuscaloosa with the total set at 125.5 points. Bob Wischusen and Vitale will be on the call for ESPN beginning at 8 pm. Unable to reach a television? You can also hear Tom Leach and Mike Pratt on a few other platforms:
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-191, Interent 962
- Online: iHeart Radio
Listen to the KSR Pregame Show
There’s only way you can get ready for the Cats and the Vols. Hear Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond and Drew Franklin preview the matchup with Tennessee on the KSR Pregame Show by turning your radio dial to 630 WLAP at 5:30 pm ET or by listening online with iHeart Radio.
You don’t need to wait till this evening to hear from KSR’s Fearless Leader. Drew Franklin and Jay in Lyndon joined Matt Jones for a special Super Bo — Big Game edition of the Free Money Podcast. Subscribe, download and enjoy plenty of prop bet talk along with a heavy side of shenanigans.
College Basketball on TV
For the second straight week Alabama’s noon tip-off on ESPN might be the best game of the week. Don’t let ESPN convince you Duke-North Carolina is the game you need to watch.
- Noon: #10 Alabama at #18 Missouri on ESPN
- Noon: Iowa State at #9 Oklahoma on ESPN2
- Noon: Seton Hall at UConn on Fox
- 2:00: #23 Kansas at #17 West Virginia on CBS
- 3:00: #6 Texas at Oklahoma State on ABC
- 4:00: Pitt at #14 Virginia on ESPN
- 4:00: Washington at Oregon on CBS
- 4:00: Ole Miss at Auburn on ESPN2
- 6:00: North Carolina at Duke on ESPN
- 6:00: UCF at Tulsa on ESPN2
More Quarterback Competition
UK’s first quarterback competition under Liam Coen already had plenty of intrigue. To make it even juicier, Coen brought in a former Penn State gunslinger to compete with Beau Allen and Joey Gatewood.
Friday afternoon Will Levis announced he will transfer to Kentucky. A big 6-foot-4 athlete that started a couple of games in the Big Ten, Levis’ roots are near Coen in the Northeast. Levis has no trouble delivering darts, but he will be behind the 8-ball. Allen and Gatewood will get an entire spring to work with Coen while Levis works to complete his degree in State College, leaving the competition open until fall camp arrives. It’s going to make for an exciting summer that’s filled with whispers from the Joe Craft Football Training Facility.
It was the Wildcats’ first week in the weight room since the team returned to campus. Despite suffering a torn ACL in the penultimate game of the regular season against Florida, J.J. Weaver was with the team in the weight room. Of course, he was probably limited, but nevertheless, it’s exciting to see him back with the boys.
Another 50-Burger for Reed Sheppard
It was just another Friday night for the North Laurel guard. He scored a casual 54 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed eight rebounds in a 98-90 win over Corbin. At this point it’s more of a surprise if he doesn’t score at least 40.
— Austin Miller (@AustinMillerTV) February 6, 2021
More scores from around the state.
- Frederick Douglass 55, Lexington Christian 46
- Bowling Green 57, Warren Central 45
- Central 45, Manual 39
- Male 60, PRP 51
- Daviess County 66, Hart County 59
- Barren County 65, Allen County-Scottsville 62
- Pike County Central 89, Harlan 77 OT
- Ryle 80, Augusta 79 OT
- Campbellsville 62, Bethlehem 57 OT
- Frankfort 84, Paris 68
- Elizabethtown 76, Bardstown 60
- Iroquois 56, Fairdale 49
- John Hardin 83, North Hardin 69
- Trinity 72, Lafayette 65