Friday, January 17, 2014

Kentucky vs. Tennessee Pre-View

(The best Tennessee picture I could find)

After a heartbreaking overtime loss to Arkansas Tuesday night, Kentucky is back in action Saturday when they take on the Tennessee Volunteers at noon…

There was a couple of things to like about Kentucky's performance against the Razorbacks despite the loss. The way they battled until the very end and the amount of effort they played with was something we have not seen much of so far this season. Hopefully they can carry over some of that effort to Saturday against Tennessee...

If you are a Kentucky fan or at least know one, then you know about the equally shared dislike these two teams and fan bases have for one another. For me, it's to the point that the color orange automatically triggers my gag reflex. It's uncontrollable and something that comes with being a Kentucky fan.  

Over the years there have been players at UT that you loved to hate, guys like C.J. Black, Ron Slay, Tony Harris, Scooter McFadden, Steven Pearl and Wayne Chism just to name a few. There has only been on guy to play for the Volunteers that I have liked at all and it has nothing at all to do with his basketball career and that's, Kevin Nash. Nash as some of you may know went on to become a professional wrestler in the WCW and WWE after his time at Tennessee was done.

Here's a brief look at some information on the Volunteers of Tennessee…


EST: 1794


LOCATION: Knoxville, Tenn

COLORS: UT orange/White/Smoky Grey

NICKNAME: Volunteers (Vols)



A long standing tradition at Tennessee has been the painting of the university rock.

They paint all sorts of things on the rock from celebrating wins, to messages to visiting recruits to try and sway them into attending their school. Two years ago, UK fan attending Tennessee decided to take matters into their own hands when it came to "the rock"
Needless to say, it was a good day to be a Kentucky fan in Knoxville.


Dixie Carter- Actress

Pam Tillis- Country Music Artisit

Charles Scott Abbott- One of the creators of Trivial Pursuit

Min Kao- CEO and founder of Garmin (GPS)

Kevin Nash- Professional Wrestler (WCW/WWE)

Every time these two teams meet, it's a battle and I expect this one to be no different. I don't care what the rankings say, this will be a ball game and one that will be entertaining and stressful to watch. To get you a little bit prepared as to what to expect, here's how they stack up to one another…

                BY THE NUMBERS

                    UT         CATS 

PPG:           75             81

RPG:           39             44

APG:           13              13

SPG:              5                4

BPG:              5                7

TPG:            10              13

FG%:           45              47

FT%:            70              65

3P%:            36              30

There isn't a lot separating these two teams, but the one thing Kentucky will have to do is take care of the ball. They can't afford to turn the ball over the way they did against Arkansas (10 turnovers in the first half) or the results will be the same. The other thing that has got to happen is MAKE FREE-THROWS. I'm not going to be one of those people who say "I could hit free-throws all day long" because that's just absurd. Shooting free-throws in you driveway or at your local park DOES NOT compare to what these kids have to do. But, I will say that they should be used to hostile environments by now and missing free-throws at the rate Kentucky has been doing this season is somewhat alarming. At this point, one has to think that it's a mental thing because they should be way better free-throw shooting team than they have shown so far.

Like I said earlier, these two teams and fan bases simply just don't like each other and that has shown over the history of this series. There has been some classic battles between the two with the most recent being Jodie Meeks setting UK's single game scoring record when he tallied 54 points in Thompson-Bowling Arena (54 points is also a record inside TBA as well)  five years ago this week. Here's a quick glance at the series history..


The Cats lead the all-time series with a record of 149-67. The first game was played in 1910 with Kentucky winning 20-5. The last meeting ended with the Cats suffering their worst loss of the series 88-58 in Knoxville.

I said on Twitter that I believe we will look back and see the Arkansas game as a turning point for this team and I believe that. Saturday will be the start of the turnaround, if there is going to be one….

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