#13 Tennessee (21-7 | 12-4 SEC) at Georgia (5-23 | 1-15 SEC)
Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 | 5:31pm CT
Athens, GA | Stegeman Coliseum | TV: SEC Network
Knoxville, TN – The 13th-ranked Tennessee basketball team is on the road one final time in the regular season Tuesday, traveling to Athens, Georgia, to take on the Georgia Bulldogs at 5:30pm 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), Dane Bradshaw (analysis), and Alyssa Lang (reporter) 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 133 on Sirius, channel 190 on SiriusXM and channel 961 on the SiriusXM app.
All-SEC candidate Santiago Vescovi led Tennessee scorers with 14 points and sank all six of his free-throw attempts. Fellow All-SEC hopeful and SEC Freshman of the Week Kennedy Chandler, along with SEC Sixth Man of the Year candidate Zakai Zeigler, each tallied 13 points.
The victory marked the sixth win in the Rick Barnes era over an AP top-five opponent. Tennessee is 4-0 under Barnes when facing top-five teams at home.
Tennessee is searching for its first win at Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum since January 18th, 2011, having lost six straight games against the Bulldogs in Athens.
Tennessee leads the all-time series with Georgia, 97-61, dating to 1913. This is the 159th meeting overall and the only regular-season meeting set for the 2021-22 campaign.
The Bulldogs have dominated this series in recent years, winning seven of the last 11 meetings.
The Bulldogs hold a 40-33 edge when the series is contested in Athens and have won six straight over the Volunteers at Stegeman Coliseum. Tennessee’s last win at UGA came in 2011.
During their six-game losing streak at Stegeman Coliseum, the Vols are averaging only 61.2 ppg.
In last season’s lone meeting, UT freshman and eventual first-round NBA Draft pick Jaden Springer scored a game-high 30 points to propel the Vols to an 89-81 win in Knoxville.
Tennessee is riding a 13-game win streak on the SEC Network, dating to last January. Tom Hart and Dane Bradshaw each called seven of those games (five as a tandem).
Layup-Lines – Team
Tennessee stands at No. 8 in the NCAA’s latest NET ratings. Each of UT’s seven losses are Quad 1.
The Vols have faced 10 AP Top 25 opponents so far this season and own wins over the teams ranked Nos. 2, 5, and 7 in this week’s poll.
According to KenPom, the Vols rank third in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing only 87.3 points per 100 possessions.
Tennessee’s scoring defense of 65.9 ppg in SEC play is tied for tops in the league. The Vols have held their last seven SEC opponents to fewer than 65 points.
The Vols rank eighth among all Division I teams in steals per game (9.6 spg), 17th nationally in turnovers forced per game (16.46 tpg), and 18th in turnover margin (+4.0).
Layup Lines – Player
All-SEC candidate Santiago Vescovi is the league’s top 3-point shooter during SEC play, hitting at a .440 clip from long range.
Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and Bob Cousy Award candidate Kennedy Chandler’s 2.22 steals per game rank 18th in Division I and second nationally among true freshmen.
During SEC play, Vols freshmen Zakai Zeigler (2.44 spg) and Chandler (2.27 spg) rank first and tied for fourth, respectively, in steals per game.
A leading candidate for the SEC Sixth Man of the Year award, Vols freshman Zakai Zeigler is the team’s third-leading scorer during SEC play (10.4 ppg) while leading the league in steals and free-throw percentage in conference games.
True freshman forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield has a team-high nine offensive rebounds over Tennessee’s last two games.
About The Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia (6-23, 1-15 SEC) enters Tuesday’s game on a nine-game losing streak. The Bulldogs last won on Jan. 25 over Alabama, 82-76.
Despite struggling this season, Georgia has recorded two home wins over potential NCAA Tournament teams—the win over Alabama and a December 1st win over Memphis, 82-79. The Bulldogs also took then-No. 1 Auburn to the wire on February 5th, falling by a score of 74-72.
The Bulldogs are in their fourth season under the direction of former Marquette and Indiana head coach Tom Crean. Georgia has posted a 47-72 (.395) record under Crean.
Florida SouthWestern State transfer guard Kario Oquendo leads the Bulldogs in scoring (15.3 ppg) and ranks second on the team in rebounding (4.4 rpg). Oquendo is averaging 18.5 points per game in conference play—a mark that ranks fourth in the SEC.
Oquendo is also shooting 46.3 percent from the field during SEC play, which ranks fifth in the league (second among guards).
Graduate transfer guard Aaron Cook, who played at Southern Illinois and Gonzaga before transferring to Georgia, is averaging 10.1 points and 5.6 assists per game. Cook ranks 18th in the nation and second in the SEC in assists per game.
KenPom.com ranks Georgia 209th in the country—95th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 309th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Last Meeting With Georgia
A season-high 30 points from freshman Jaden Springer and an efficient night from the field pushed 16th-ranked Tennessee past Georgia, 89-81, on February 10th, 2021, at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Georgia was led in scoring by K.D. Johnson, who closed the night with 22 points and three rebounds.
Tennessee’s Josiah-Jordan James scored a career-high 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting and also added six rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Santiago Vescovi added 19 points and six rebounds while converting on all eight of his attempts from the free-throw line—with multiple makes at the charity stripe in the game’s closing moments.
Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Keon Johnson contributed 11 points. His performance was highlighted by a SportsCenter Top-10 poster dunk to help spark the Vols in the second half.
The remainder of the half saw a flurry of baskets for UT, which outscored Georgia 13-5 over the final five minutes to take a 44-26 lead into the locker room.
Tennessee made 10 3-pointers on the night to tie its season-high. The Vols made eight in the first half.
The Volunteers continued to dictate the pace in the second half, stretching their lead to as many as 23 in the first 10 minutes after halftime.UT withstood Georgia’s late push, remaining steady at the foul line to walk away with the eight-point win.
Memorable Tennessee Performances Against Georgia
Austin “Red” Robbins had arguably the best performance in UT history at the time with 35 points and 20 rebounds on February 7th, 1966, as UT routed Georgia 100-71 at old Armory-Fieldhouse in Knoxville.
Bernard King made 18 field goals at Georgia on February 1st, 1975. King had 42 points and 18 rebounds in that 105-69 Vol victory.
The 12,666 paying customers who packed UT’s Stokely Athletics Center on February 10th, 1979, got their money’s worth, as Ellenwood, Georgia, native Reggie Johnson totaled 36 points and 13 rebounds, playing every minute of a three-overtime thriller as UT topped Georgia 87-81. Terry Crosby also played all 55 minutes, adding 21 points.
Future NBA Lottery Pick Marcus Haislip paced the Vols with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Vincent Yarbrough added 17 points as UT outscored the 16th-ranked Dawgs 11-3 in overtime to take a 71-63 win in Knoxville on March 2nd, 2002.
Double-Bye In Tampa Secured
Tennessee has secured a double-bye in the SEC Tournament in Tampa. The top-four seeds earn automatic placement in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
If the tournament started today, the Vols would enter as the No. 3 seed. UT’s remaining games are at last-place Georgia and home vs. second-place Arkansas.
Vols Best In National At Denying Second-Chance Points
Per analytics website Haslametrics.com, Tennessee leads the nation in defensive second-chance point conversion percentage.
The Vols’ defensive SCC% of 2.26 is a result of dividing the field goal conversions that occur five seconds or less after an offensive rebound by the total number of opponents’ missed field goals.
Tennessee’s active hands-on defense often lead to a block or strip steal after offensive boards by the opposing team.
As Postseason Approaches, Vols Crashing Offensive Glass
After pulling down 21 offensive rebounds in the win over No. 3 Auburn, Tennessee has risen to 28th in the country in offensive rebounds per game (12.4).
At the end of January, the Vols ranked 50th nationally in offensive rebounding.
Tennessee is averaging 11.8 orpg during SEC play and has totaled 10 or more offensive boards in 13 of 16 SEC games this season.
Gup Stepping Up In Time For March
Another true freshman forward, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (known to his teammates as “Gup”), is playing his best basketball of the season as the Vols enter March.
A starter for each of the last six games, BHH averaged 5.5 points, 7.0 rebounds (4.5 offensive), and one block spanning last week’s wins over Missouri and No. 3 Auburn.
Numbers Prove Tennessee has Nation’s Most Passionate Fans
Tennessee yet again is on pace to be the only school in America to rank in the top 10 in average home attendance for football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball.
In football, the Vols ranked ninth with an average home attendance of 86,386 in 2021.
In hoops, the Vols and Lady Vols currently rank fifth (17,971) and sixth (7,728), in the NCAA, respectively.
The Lang Effect
A meaningless but still incredible note… Alyssa Lang of the SEC Network has been part of the TV broadcast team for six Tennessee basketball games as well as four Tennessee football games dating to 2019, and the Vols are undefeated in those contests (10-0).
Next Up For UT Vols Basketball
The Tennessee men’s basketball team is back at Thompson-Boling Arena one final time this season for Senior Day against No. 14 Arkansas. Tip-off is set for 11:00am CT on ESPN.