Fresh of their win against top-ranked Alabama on Wednesday, the Tennessee Volunteers go to Rupp Arena, sealing revenge against Kentucky on Saturday.]
Tennessee Volunteers (-1.5, 135.5) vs. Kentucky Wildcats
When the Volunteers lost to Kentucky at home on January 14 by a final score of 63-58, the team committed eight fewer turnovers than Kentucky and all season have gotten more clean possessions than their opponents.
Tennessee is forcing a turnover on 20.1% of opponents offensive possessions in games away and home, which ranks 14th in the nation while Kentucky is 220th in this category between their games at home and away from home.
Overall, Tennessee is allowing the fewest points per possession of any team in the country and when away from home, are allowing 3.9 points per 100 possessions fewer than any other team in the country.
The Volunteers also will clean up their rebounding issues from the first meeting, as Kentucky had 43 rebounds to Tennessee’s 23.
Reigning Wooden Award winner Oscar Tshiebwe was a big reason for Kentucky taking the first matchup as he had 15 points and 13 rebounds, which is close to his season averages of 15.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game.
While Tshiebwe leads all Division I players in rebounds per game, Tennessee’s rebound rate isn’t too far from Kentucky’s as the Wildcats are sixth nationally in this category while Tennessee is eighth. The reason is Tennessee have six different players that average at least four rebounds per game while just one player other than Tshiebwe hauls in more than 3.6 rebounds per game.
In the first meeting, Kentucky went 5-of-18 from 3-point range, which is better than how most v have fared against Tennessee’s perimeter defense with opponents shooting 24.7% from 3-point range overall and 25.8% when Tennessee plays away from home, with both marks being number one among all Division I college basketball teams.
After two brutal losses on last second shots at the buzzer the past three games, Tennessee will wield their defensive might to ensure a similar situation can’t occur again and get revenge on the road.
The Play: Tennessee -1.5
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