KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee has been one of college basketball’s biggest yo-yo acts this season, looking good one game only to fall flat and disappoint in the next.
The Vols can take another step forward as a program if they can end that trend in today’s game against Kansas State in the SEC-Big 12 challenge.
“It’s important we move forward,” UT coach Rick Barnes said, asked if his team can put Tuesday’s upset win over Kentucky behind it. “It was a great night, we’ve had a couple of those, but we still haven’t proven we can move forward.”
Tennessee hasn’t won three straight against Division I teams this season, but if they do so today against the Wildcats the Big Orange could find itself on the NCAA tournament bubble.
The Vols have played one of the more difficult schedules in the nation, but going 1-7 vs. the top 50 is not typically the resume of team invited into the NCAA tourney field.
Kansas State (15-5) is projected as a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament by CBSsports.com, while the Vols (11-9) are outside of the so-called “first four out” by a few decimals in the RPI ratings.
The SEC, as a whole, needs a good showing if the league is to shake the concept that it’s a one-man show (Kentucky).
“We have to change perception, and I think it (SEC) is better than the perception,” Barnes said. “But if you want to do something about it, you’ve got to do something this week.
“This is getting into when all eyes are on college basketball.”
Tennessee basketball vs. Kansas State game time, details
Date: Jan. 28, 2017
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena
Vegas Line: Pick ‘em
What TV channel is Tennessee basketball vs. Kansas State on?
The game will be televised on ESPN2.
How can I watch Tennessee basketball vs. Kansas State online?
The game will be streamed on WatchESPN.
Who is calling the Tennessee basketball game vs. Kansas State?
Tom Hart will handle the play-by-play duties for the game on ESPN2, wth Kara Lawson serving as analyst.
How can I listen to Tennessee basketball vs Kansas State?
The game will be on satellite radio, Sirius Channel 145 and XM Channel 190. Fans can also listen on the Vol Network, with Bob Kesling handling the play-by-play call and Bert Bertelkamp the color analyst.
• Tennessee looks to win a third-straight game for what would be the second time this season, and the first time against three Division I opponents.
• The Vols and the SEC could get a boost through the action in the SEC-Big 12 challenge. Other key games involve Kansas at Kentucky, Florida at Oklahoma, and Baylor at Ole Miss.
• Tennessee beat Kansas State in the teams’ only prior meeting, 65-64, on Dec. 6. 2014 in Thompson-Boling Arena. Barnes is 12-11 all-time vs. Kansas State.