After both pulling off two losing streaks with much-needed victories earlier this week, No. 10 Kentucky and Tennessee will go head-to-head on Saturday in a repeat of Britain’s best win of the season so far. The Wildcats (17-9, 8-5 SEC) stole a 63-56 win away in their first meeting on Jan. 14 to spark a six-win-seven-game streak.
But Kentucky fell back on the wrong side of the NCAA tournament bubble last week with losses to Arkansas and Georgia before a big win at Mississippi State on Wednesday pushed the Wildcats back up to No. 11 in the Jerry Palms bracketology that started this weekend. Tennessee (20-6, 9-4) also has some misery to deal with in the form of back-to-back buzzer-beater losses to Vanderbilt and Missouri last week.
The Volunteers rebounded in significant fashion Wednesday with a 68-59 win over No. 1 Alabama. Tennessee probably won’t be able to catch the Crimson Tide in the SEC title race, but it’s still in the mix for a lucrative NCAA tournament positioning. The Volunteers, widely regarded as the best defensive team in the country, go into the UK rematch as the likely No. 3 in Palms Bracketology.
Offense was the problem for Tennessee in the first meeting, as the Vols made just 3 of 21 tries from 3-point range while wasting an early 8-0 lead. Antonio Reeves shone for the Wildcats with 18 points. In Kentucky’s last 12 games, Reeves averaged 15.6 points and shot 44.1% from the 3-point line to give the Wildcats a much-needed perimeter punch.
How to watch Kentucky vs. Tennessee live
Date: Saturday, February 18 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Rupp Arena – Lexington, Kentucky
TV: CBS | Live broadcast: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
Kentucky vs. Tennessee prediction, tips
Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee found its mojo back by defeating leader Alabama on Wednesday. The Volunteers will ride high in the Rupp Arena to seek revenge for an embarrassing home loss to the Wildcats last month. Britain have been vulnerable at home this season and Tennessee have three wins at the stadium under eighth-year coach Rick Barnes. Watch for the Vols to shoot better than when they first met and come out with a convincing win. Prediction: Tennessee -2
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