KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s basketball schedule is complete, and it certainly has a Volunteer State flair about it.
Coach Rich Barnes will play at least 20 games in the state of Tennessee this season, depending on how deep the Vols can go into the SEC Tournament March 8-12 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Tennessee’s start to the SEC season will take place on Dec. 29 at Texas A&M, marking the earliest SEC season opener since the 1951 team played Florida on Dec. 19.
In addition to the home games at Thompson-Boling Arena and SEC Tournament, the Vols other games in the Volunteer State include:
• Gonzaga, Dec. 18, Nashville
• East Tennessee, Dec. 22, Johnson City
It will be the Vols first time playing in Johnson City since 1963.
Tennessee, which was 15-19 overall and 6-12 in the SEC in Barnes’ first season, features a non-conference road trip to Chapel Hill, N.C., where the Vols play North Carolina at 5 p.m. on Dec. 11.
Tennessee will also face Big Ten heavyweight Wisconsin during the non-conference portion of the scheduling, opening the Maui Invitational at 2:30 p.m. eastern time on Nov. 21 against the Badgers.
Other teams in the Maui field include Georgetown, Oregon, Oklahoma State, UConn, North Carolina and host Chaminade, a Division II school.
Here’s a look at Tennessee’s schedule
(some games have been assigned TV coverage and start times)
Nov. 3 vs. Slippery Rock (exhibition) in Knoxville
Nov. 11 vs. Chattanooga in Knoxville
Nov. 15 vs. Appalachian State in Knoxville
Nov. 21 vs. Wisconsin in Maui Invitational, 2:30 p.m. ESPN2
Nov. 22 vs. Georgetown or Oregon in Maui Invitational
Nov. 23 TBD Maui Invitational
Dec. 3 vs. Georgia Tech in Knoxville
Dec. 6 vs. Presbyterian in Knoxville
Dec. 11 at North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., 5 p.m. ESPN
Dec. 13 vs. Tennessee Tech in Knoxville
Dec. 15 vs. Lipscomb in Knoxville
Dec. 18 vs. Gonzaga in Nashville, 4 p.m. ESPN2
Dec. 22 at East Tennessee in Johnson City
Dec. 29 at Texas A&M in College Station, 9 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 3 vs. Arkansas in Knoxville, 6:30 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 7 at Florida in Gainesville 5:15 p.m. ESPN2
Jan. 11 vs. South Carolina in Knoxville 6:30 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 14 at Vanderbilt in Nashville 8:30 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 17 at Ole Miss is Oxford, 9 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 21 vs. Mississippi State in Knoxville, 6 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 24 vs. Kentucky in Knoxville, 9 p.m. ESPN
Jan. 28 vs. Kansas State in Knoxville, 2 p.m. ESPN2
Jan. 31 at Auburn in Auburn, 9 p.m. SEC Network
Feb. 4 at Mississippi State in Starkville, 3:30 p.m. SEC Network
Feb. 8 vs. Ole Miss in Knoxville, 6:30 p.m. SEC Network
Feb. 11 vs. Georgia in Knoxville, 4 p.m. ESPNU
Feb. 14 at Kentucky in Lexington, 7 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 18 vs. Missouri in Knoxville, 1 p.m. SEC Network
Feb. 22 vs. Vanderbilt in Knoxville, 6:30 p.m. SEC Network
Feb. 25 at South Carolina in Columbia, 1 p.m. SEC Network
March 1 at LSU in Baton Rouge, 7 p.m. SEC Network
March 4 vs. Alabama in Knoxville, 1 p.m., SEC Network
March 8-12 SEC Tournament in Nashville, ESPN family of networks
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee athletics for SEC Country and lives in Knoxville