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HomeSports#17 Tennessee Vols Basketball faces Missouri on the road, Tuesday

#17 Tennessee Vols Basketball faces Missouri on the road, Tuesday

#17 Tennessee (19-7 | 10-4 SEC) vs. Missouri (10-17 | 4-10 SEC)
Tuesday, February 22nd, 7:00pm ET / 6:00pm CT
Columbia, MO | Mizzou Arena | TV: SEC Network

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – The 17th-ranked Tennessee Men’s basketball team plays its second straight road game Tuesday, taking on the Missouri Tigers. Tip-off is set for 6:00pm CT.

Fans can catch Tuesday’s game on SEC Network and online or on any mobile device through WatchESPN. WatchESPN can be accessed through the ESPN App, or online at espn.com/watch. Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Dane Bradshaw (analysis) will have the call.
Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to hear Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp calling the action. The broadcast is also available on channel 138 on Sirius, channel 190 on SiriusXM, and channel 961 on the SiriusXM app.
Tennessee (19-7, 10-4 SEC) saw its eight-game SEC win streak snapped Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd at Arkansas, 58-48. The Vols held Arkansas to 31 percent shooting for the game but shot just 27 percent themselves.
The Vols are looking to reach the 20-win mark on Tuesday for the third time in the Rick Barnes era and first time since 2018-19. Tennessee has not suffered back-to-back defeats this season.

The Series

Tennessee leads its all-time series with Missouri 10-8, dating to 1961.

When the series is contested in Columbia, the Tigers own a 5-4 advantage.

These programs split last season’s two meetings, with each squad winning on the opponent’s home court.

Vols head coach Rick Barnes is 5-2 in head-to-head meetings against teams coached by Cuonzo Martin.

Martin was the head coach at Tennessee from 2011-14 and guided the Big Orange from the NCAA First Four to the Sweet Sixteen in his final season.

Mizzou assistant coach Marco Harris was a member of Martin’s support staff at UT.

A victory Tuesday would give the Vols 20 wins this season and a 5-5 record in true road games.

Tennessee senior Victor Bailey Jr. is the son of a Mizzou gridiron great. See full note below.

Layup Lines – Team

Tennessee is coming off a loss at Arkansas but has not suffered back-to-back defeats this season.

Tennessee stands at No. 11 in the NCAA’s latest NET ratings. Each of UT’s seven losses are Quad 1.

The Vols have faced nine AP Top 25 opponents so far this season.

Tennessee joins Kentucky and Auburn as the only three SEC teams that have no losses outside Quadrant 1 this season.

According to KenPom, the Vols rank fourth in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing only 87.4 points per 100 possessions.

Tennessee’s scoring defense of 66.5 ppg in SEC play is the second-best in the league. The Vols have held six SEC teams to 60 points or less.

The Vols rank eighth among all Division I teams in both steals per game (9.7 spg) and turnover margin (+4.4).

Tennessee owns a perfect 9-0 record on the SEC Network this season.

Layup Lines –  Players

All-SEC candidate Santiago Vescovi is the league’s top 3-point shooter during SEC play, hitting at a .429 clip from long range.

Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and Bob Cousy Award candidate Kennedy Chandler’s 2.28 steals per game rank 16th in Division I and second nationally among true freshmen.
During SEC play, Vols freshmen Zakai Zeigler (2.57 spg) and Chandler (2.38 spg) rank first and second, respectively, in steals per game.

A leading candidate for the SEC Sixth Man of the Year award, Zeigler is Tennessee’s leading scorer over the last three games (14.0 ppg) while shooting .583 from 3-point range and totaling nine steals.

Zeigler has scored in double figures in each of UT’s last eight games.

About the Missouri Tigers

Missouri (10-17, 4-10 SEC) enters Tuesday’s game having lost three games in a row.

Tuesday marks the Tigers’ third game in just five days after they played Mississippi State on both Friday and Sunday. The first meeting between Missouri and Mississippi State was originally scheduled for January 5th but was postponed due to health and safety protocols.

Missouri is 7-7 at home inside Mizzou Arena this year, including a 2-5 mark in SEC play.
The Tigers are 4-15 in Quadrant 1 and 2 games this season—having won at home against Alabama, at a neutral site over SMU, and at Texas A&M in Quad 1.

Junior forward Kobe Brown has been Missouri’s do-it-all player this season—posting team-high averages in points (12.4 ppg), rebounds (7.9 RPG), and steals (1.3 spg).

Brown’s 7.9 rebounds per game rank sixth in the SEC.

Senior guard Javon Pickett has been a consistent force on offense, having scored in double figures in 11 straight SEC games. In conference play, Pickett is averaging 12.4 points per game and ranks fifth in the league in field-goal percentage (.484) and minutes played per game (34.1).

Through the games of Feb. 20, Missouri ranks No. 140 in KenPom.com’s rankings. The Tigers rank No. 133 in adjusted defensive efficiency and No. 165 in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Tennessee’s Last Meeting With Missouri

A 27-point scoring output from Xavier Pinson and a turnover-plagued offensive effort hampered sixth-ranked Tennessee on Jan. 23, 2021, as the Volunteers fell to 19th-ranked Missouri, 73-64, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Missouri recorded 10 steals and forced 18 Tennessee turnovers.
The Vols were led in scoring by senior Yves Pons, who scored 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year also pulled in five rebounds and blocked two shots.
Junior guard Victor Bailey Jr. scored 12 points—eight of which came in the second half—dished out three assists and recorded two steals.
Josiah-Jordan James also scored 12 points, while also recording five rebounds, a block, and a steal.

Missouri held control for much of the opening half, taking a lead as large as 12 with just over eight minutes to play. Out of the under-eight media timeout, the Vols ripped off a 12-3 run to cut the Mizzou lead to 28-25 in a span of two minutes.

The programs traded buckets over the final minutes of the half before the Tigers took a 40-34 lead into the break.

Out of halftime, Missouri stretched its lead to double-digits and held the Vols to 30 percent shooting through the half’s first 12 minutes.

To close the night, the Tigers withstood UT’s multiple comeback bids, never letting the Orange & White pull within fewer than six points.

Pinson led all scorers with 27 on 10-of-14 shooting and was a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Guard Dru Smith added 18 points for the Tigers.

Memorable Tennessee Performances Against Missouri

Knoxville native Rob Jones totaled 14 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and a team-high three blocks against the Tigers on December 10th, 1984, in Columbia, but it wasn’t enough, as Missouri posted a 70-61 victory. Five Tigers scored in double figures in the win.

Mizzou had no answer for the great Bernard King, as the legendary Vols forward recorded a double-double with 32 points and 18 rebounds in a 99-77 Tennessee triumph at the Big Sun Invitational on December 21st, 1974, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Two-time first-team All-SEC honoree Mike Edwards tallied a team-high 19 points against Missouri during a 67-57 loss to the 12th-ranked Tigers in the 1972 Vol Classic title game in Knoxville on December 16th, 1972.

VJ Bailey Has Tiger Bloodlines

Tennessee senior Victor Bailey Jr. is the son of one of the greatest football wide receivers ever to play at Mizzou.

Victor Bailey (Sr.) was a star receiver for the Tigers from 1990-92 and finished his career as the school’s all-time receptions leader (128). His three-year Mizzou totals also included 2,116 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

Bailey Sr. was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 1993 NFL Draft and played three seasons for the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

Zeigler Making Case FOr SEC Sixth Man Of The Year Honors

True freshman guard and SEC Sixth Man of the Year candidate Zakai Zeigler has proven to a rock-solid addition to this Tennessee roster.

Zeigler is Tennessee’s third-leading scorer in SEC play (10.5 ppg) and leads the team with 2.6 steals per game vs. conference foes.

Zeigler also leads the league with a .900 free-throw percentage in SEC games.

He twice exploded for 18 points in wins over North Carolina and South Carolina—two of his 11 double-digit scoring performances off the bench this season.

Fulky At The Four

Tennessee is +15 in 22:35 over its last two games with John Fulkerson playing the four. For much of the past two seasons, Fulkerson’s minutes have come primarily at the five spot.

While playing the four in last week’s win over Kentucky, Fulkerson used his quickness to effectively guard Keion Brooks Jr. and Jacob Toppin.

Fulkerson over the last two games is averaging 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field.

Pursuing Double-Bye In Tampa

Tennessee is on track to earn a double-bye in the upcoming SEC Tournament in Tampa. The top-four seeds earn automatic placement in Friday’s quarterfinal round.

If the tournament started today, the UT Vols would enter as the No. 4 seed. But UT still has two games remaining against teams in the top four of the standings (Auburn and Arkansas, both in Knoxville).

Next Up For UT Vols Basketball

The Tennessee men’s basketball team is back at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday for a ranked showdown with No. 3 Auburn. Tip-off is set for 3:00pm CT on either ESPN or ESPN2.


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