KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee men’s basketball team is headed to Johnson City for a game for the first time since 1963, but all Rick Barnes has on his mind is trying to get a victory.
The Vols (6-5) are coming off an 86-76 loss to No. 8-ranked Gonzaga last Sunday at Bridgestone Arena heading into what figures to be a hostile environment tonight.
East Tennessee is 9-2 and winners of seven of its past eight, a 67-65 victory at Mississippi State on Dec. 14 within that run of success.
A sold-out crowd will be on had at Freedom Hall Civic Center to see if the Vols make it 10 in a row in the series with the Bucs.
The Vols, who lost to Southern Conference favorite Chattanooga in their season opener, know that East Tennessee is another team from that conference with NCAA Tournament upside.
“It’s a big game for both teams,’ Tennessee’s Jordan Bowden said. “They will give us a pretty good fight, especially being up there in their gym.”
Tennessee basketball vs East Tennessee game time, details
Date: Dec. 22
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, Tenn. (Cap. Approximately 6,000)
Vegas Line: East Tennessee State by 3.5
What TV Channel is Tennessee basketball vs. East Tennessee on?
Knoxville’s local “MVlt,” a secondary CBS affiliate; Tri-Cities WEMT Fox 39 and Nashville’s WUXP My Tv.
How can I watch Tennessee basketball vs. East Tennessee online?
The game will be available via WatchESPN.
Who is calling the Tennessee basketball game vs. East Tennessee?
Jay Sandos will handle the play by play, with Casey Goetz proving the color analysis.
How can I listen to Tennessee basketball vs. East Tennessee?
Sirius Channel 134 or XM Channel 381. The game is also available on the VolNetwork.
• ETSU is focused, with former Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) assistant and current Bucs head coach Steve Forbes telling the Johnson City Press that “I talked to our players about keeping their circle tight and blocking out the noise around them, but they understand it’s a big game.”
• UT remains without the services of point guard Jordan Bone, who has been out since Nov. 22 with a stress fracture in his foot. Bone is expected to return for the Dec. 29 game at Texas A&M.
• The Vols biggest challenge will be on the boards, as they are the smallest team in the SEC and rank 187th in the nation with a plus-1 rebounding margin. ETSU, by comparison, is at plus-5.
Santa came early for the Bucs today. Check out their new locker room inside Freedom Hall. #ETSUTough
Posted by ETSU Buccaneer Athletics on Wednesday, December 21, 2016