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HomeSportsUT Vols Basketball takes on Vanderbilt Commodores in SEC Tournament today

UT Vols Basketball takes on Vanderbilt Commodores in SEC Tournament today

12 Tennessee (14-18/6-12 SEC) vs. 5 Vanderbilt (19-12/11-7 SEC)

Thursday, March 10th, 2016 | 2:30pm CT/3:30pm ET
Nashville, TN | Bridgestone Arena

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – Following a first-round win on opening night, SEC Tournament play continues for Tennessee when it faces in-state rival Vanderbilt on Thursday in Nashville. Tip off from Bridgestone Arena is set for roughly 3:30pm ET/2:30pm CT on the SEC Network.

The 12th-seeded Volunteers (14-18) advanced to the second round with a rout of Auburn in the SEC Tournament opener on Wednesday. Tennessee never trailed and led by as many as 41 en route to a 97-59 victory over the Tigers. Led by 22 points from senior Armani Moore, 38-point win marked the largest margin of victory ever recorded by the Vols at the SEC Tournament.

The in-state, SEC rivals Tennessee and Vanderbilt meet for the third time this season, square off on a neutral floor at SEC Tournament. (UT Athletics Department)
The in-state, SEC rivals Tennessee and Vanderbilt meet for the third time this season, square off on a neutral floor at SEC Tournament. (UT Athletics Department)

Also finishing in double figures on Wednesday night were guards Detrick Mostella (17) and Devon Baulkman (16) as well as forward Admiral Schofield (12).

Senior Derek Reese, who made his second consecutive start, nearly posted a double-double, finishing with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Vanderbilt (19-12) earned the fifth-seed for the 2016 SEC Tournament after concluding the conference season with an 11-7 mark. The Commodores are led by their size inside, but are complemented with a group of dynamic guards.

Damian Jones and Luke Kornet, two of VU’s three seven-footers on its roster, earned All-SEC nods from the league’s coaches last week. Jones, averaging 14.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game was named first team All-SEC while Kornet — the league’s leader in blocked shots — was selected for the SEC All-Defensive Team. Meanwhile, guard Wade Baldwin IV earned second team All-SEC honors after averaging a team-high 14.3 ppg during the regular season.

Tennessee is 0-2 against Vanderbilt this season, having dropped both of the regular season meetings for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Vols are 8-1 all-time against the Commodores in the SEC Tournament, including a 67-61 victory last season in Nashville.

Notes from Day One

Tennessee’s 38-point win over Auburn Wednesday was its largest margin of victory ever in SEC Tournament play. Tennessee has now won its opening game in four straight SEC Tournaments, as well as eight of the last nine.

The Vols shot a season-best 58.6 percent (34-of-58) from the field vs. Auburn. Tennessee scored 97 points, the highest output for the Vols this season.

After being held to single digits in six of his last seven games, sophomore guard Detrick Mostella was the second-leading scorer for the Volunteers with 17 points off the bench vs. Auburn. Senior Armani Moore recorded his fourth-career 20-point game, scoring 22 on 10-of-13 shooting.

Vanderbilt swept the Vols during the regular season. UT is 8-1 all-time against Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament, including last year’s 13-point comeback victory in the second round.

The Series with Vanderbilt

  • Overall: UT leads, 116-74
  • In Knoxville: UT leads, 70-19
  • In Nashville: VU leads, 54-39
  • Neutral Sites: UT leads, 7-1
  • Current Streak: Vanderbilt has won two straight
  • Last Meeting: VU won, 86-69, in Nashville, 3/9/16
  • Barnes vs. Vanderbilt: 1-2
  • Barnes vs. Stallings: 1-2


Tennessee has won at least one SEC Tournament game in eight of the last nine seasons (lost opening game in 2012). Tennessee’s 116 wins over Vanderbilt are its most over any opponent.

When these teams met in Nashville nine days ago, freshman Shembari Phillips led the Vols with seven rebounds and a career-high 23 points.

The Last Meeting against Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt scored 18 points off turnovers to cruise to an 86-69 win over Tennessee on March 1st, 2016, at Memorial Gym in Nashville.

Tennessee freshman Shembari Phillips led all scorers with a season-high 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including a 4-for-5 mark from 3-point range. Armani Moore scored 13 points, while Admiral Schofield added 12. Vanderbilt used a balanced scoring attack led by Wade Baldwin IV’s team-high 17 points.

Belying the 17-point, final margin, the teams shot evenly from the field. Vanderbilt shot 48 percent on 31-of-64 shooting, while the Vols shot 46 percent on 28-of-61 shooting. The Big Orange also shot 54 percent (7-of-13) beyond the arc compared to Vanderbilt’s 33 percent (7-of-21).

A Commodore advantage came at the free-throw line, where they went 17-of-21. The Vols only got to the line eight times in the game, going 6-of-8.

Despite cutting the lead to 10 on two occasions in the second half, turnovers cost the Vols a shot at shrinking the deficit to single digits. The Vols committed four turnovers that contributed to a 15-0 Vanderbilt run midway through the second half. Tennessee finished with 12 turnovers in the game. Vanderbilt committed only seven.

Tennessee’s early foul trouble and Vanderbilt’s size advantage proved problematic for the Big Orange as the Commodores out-rebounded the Vols, 23-14, and grabbed eight offensive boards in the first half. Vandy also had a 20-8 advantage in the paint at halftime.

Sec Tournament History

Tennessee is 64-51 (.556) in 55 all-time previous SEC Tournament appearances. The Vols own the third-best SEC Tournament winning percentage among league schools, trailing only Kentucky (.832) and Alabama (.555). Since the tournament was renewed in 1979, the Vols are 29-36 (.446).

Tennessee has won the SEC Tournament four times, tying Florida for third-most among league schools. The Vols won the event in 1936, 1941, 1943 and 1979. UT has reached the championship games 10 times (third most among league schools), most recently in 2009 in Tampa.

Tennessee has never previously been seeded 12th at the SEC Tournament. This is the eighth time Nashville has hosted the SEC Tournament. UT is 10-7 in the tournament when it takes place in “The Music City.”

Tennessee’s SEC Tournament record at Bridgestone Arena is 6-5.

Rick Barnes in Tournament Play

Rick Barnes is 32-27 (.542) in conference tournament games as a head coach. He led Providence to the Big East Tournament championship in 1994.

So in the last 28 years, Barnes has logged more conference tournament wins and as many conference tournament championships as Tennessee since the SEC Tournament was renewed 37 years ago in 1979 (Tennessee has one league tournament title and 28 wins during that span).

Rick Barnes Has Edge in Third Meeting

In his last 11 conference tournament appearances (2006 to 2015 with Texas and 2016 with Tennessee), head coach Rick Barnes has led his teams to a 13-7 (.650) record when facing an opponent for a third time in a single season.

Thursday marks Tennessee and Vanderbilt’s third meeting this year; the Commodores claimed victory in both contests.

This is the fourth straight year that one of UT’s SEC Tournament games marks their third meeting against an opponent: Vanderbilt in 2015, Florida in 2014, Alabama in 2013.

Broadcast Information

TV | SEC Network
Play by Play: Brad Nessler
Analyst: Sean Farnham
Reporter: Shannon Spake
Producer: Bo Garrett

Radio | Vol Network
Play by Play: Bob Kesling
Analyst: Bert Bertelkamp
Engineer: Tim Berry

Satellite Radio

Sirius: Channel 145
XM: Channel 190


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