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HomeSports#13 Tennessee Vols Basketball faces #14 Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena, Saturday

#13 Tennessee Vols Basketball faces #14 Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena, Saturday

#13 Tennessee (22-7 | 13-4 SEC) vs. #14 Arkansas (24-6 | 13-4 SEC)
Saturday, March 5th, 2022 | 12:00pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | TV: ESPN

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – The 13th-ranked Tennessee men’s basketball team plays its regular-season finale Saturday, hosting No. 14 Arkansas for Senior Day at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:00am CT.

Fans can catch Saturday’s game on ESPN 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 Jimmy Dykes (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 84 on Sirius, SiriusXM and the SiriusXM app.

Although Saturday’s game is sold out, fans can still purchase tickets through Vivid Seats. Access to the Vivid Seats website can be found here.
 
On Tuesday, Tennessee (22-7, 13-4 SEC) grabbed a win in its final true road game of the season at Georgia, 75-68. Leading the Vols was Josiah-Jordan James, who scored a career-high 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and had a season-high five assists.
 
Kennedy Chandler added 16 points and had four steals, while John Fulkerson scored 12 on 5-for-8 shooting. Santiago Vescovi was the fourth Vol in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
 
Saturday marks the second matchup this season between Tennessee and Arkansas. On February 19th in Fayetteville, Arkansas defeated Tennessee, 58-48. Since 2018, Rick Barnes and his staff have guided the Volunteers to an 18-5 record in regular-season rematch games (SEC Tournament games not included).

The Series

Tennessee leads its all-time series with Arkansas, 23-22, dating to 1936.

The Volunteers have won four of the last six meetings.

Tennessee holds a 14-4 advantage when the series is contested in Knoxville and has won each of the last three clashes at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Razorbacks triumphed by 10 when these teams met last month in Fayetteville. See “Last Meeting” note for a detailed recap.

Prior to this season, this series had never featured a matchup for which both teams were ranked in the AP Top 25 at tipoff.

Rick Barnes is 2-2 in head-to-head coaching matchups with Eric Musselman.

A victory Saturday would be Rick Barnes‘ 750th career head coaching win.

Tennessee will conduct a Senior Day ceremony at midcourt prior to tipoff Saturday.


Layup Lines – Team

Tennessee ranks fifth nationally in average home attendance (17,971) and is riding a 16-game win streak at Thompson-Boling Arena dating to last season.

Tennessee stands at No. 9 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 87.2 points per 100 possessions.

Tennessee’s scoring defense of 66.0 ppg in SEC play is the best in the league. The Vols have held seven of their last eight SEC opponents to fewer than 65 points.

Tennessee allows a stingy 62.0 ppg during SEC home games this season, with a scoring margin of +10.5 ppg and an unbeaten record.

The Vols rank eighth among all Division I teams in steals per game (9.6 spg) and 17th nationally in turnovers forced per game (16.31 tpg) and turnover margin (+3.9).

Layup Lines – Players

All-SEC candidate Santiago Vescovi is the league’s top 3-point shooter during SEC play, hitting at a .435 clip from long range.

Naismith Defensive Player of the Year candidate Kennedy Chandler’s 2.29 steals per game rank 12th in Division I and second nationally among true freshmen.

During SEC play, Vols freshmen Chandler (2.38 spg) and Zakai Zeigler (2.29 spg) rank first and second, 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 fourth-leading scorer during SEC play (9.9 ppg) while leading the league in free-throw percentage and ranking second in steals during conference games.
 
True freshman forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield has a team-high 13 offensive rebounds over Tennessee’s last three games.

About The Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas (24-6, 13-4 SEC) has won five straight games and 14 of its past 15 games entering Saturday’s regular-season finale in Knoxville.

A win on Saturday would guarantee Arkansas no worse than a No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament, which would mark their second straight season finishing the regular season as the SEC’s second-place team.

The Razorbacks are 11-4 in Quadrant 1 and 2 games this season, including wins over Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn, and LSU (twice).

Arkansas is 5-3 in true road games this season while owning a 17-1 mark at home. The Razorbacks have lost at Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Alabama in conference play.

Senior guard JD Notae has led the way for Arkansas on offense this season, averaging 18.8 points per game—a mark that ranks second in the SEC.

Notae also ranks second in the SEC in steals per game, averaging 2.1 per contest.

Notae ranks 13th in the nation and leads the SEC in field-goal attempts with 16.2 per game.

Razorback forward Jaylin Williams is averaging nearly a double-double with 10.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Williams ranks fourth in the SEC and 28th in the nation in total rebounds.

In conference games only, Arkansas has three players in the top 13 of the league in scoring—Notae (2nd, 19.7 ppg), Stanley Umude (12th, 13.9 ppg), and Williams (13th, 13.8 ppg).

Through the games of March 2, Arkansas ranks No. 19 in KenPom.com’s rankings. The Razorbacks rank No. 15 in adjusted defensive efficiency and No. 46 in adjusted offensive efficiency.


Tennessee’s Last Meeting With Arkansas

Tennessee strung together a standout defensive performance but fell to No. 23 Arkansas on the road on February 19th, 2022, 58-48.

The Vols held Arkansas to 31 percent shooting for the game but shot just 27 percent themselves.

SEC Sixth Man of the Year candidate Zakai Zeigler led the Vols with 12 points, while Kennedy Chandler had 11. Santiago Vescovi totaled seven points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

JD Notae and Jaylin Williams led Arkansas with 13 points apiece.

Neither team led by more than four points until the 6:25 mark of the second half, when Arkansas’ Davonte Davis kicked off a 7-0 Hogs run that put the UA in front by nine with 5:17 remaining at 51-42.

Tennessee responded by holding Arkansas scoreless for the next four and a half minutes, but the Vols were unable to come up with enough production on the offensive end. The Big Orange never drew closer than five points the rest of the way.

Spanning from the 8:19 mark of the second half to the 0:28 mark, Tennessee made just one field goal—going 1-for-10 from the floor during that stretch.

The first half was a low-scoring, back-and-forth affair, as the Razorbacks took a 24-23 lead into the locker room. Both teams shot below 30 percent from the field during the period, with the lead changing hands six times.

The Vols and Hogs made a combined 15 field goals in the first half, also posting a combined 14 turnovers.

Chandler led all scorers with nine first-half points, but also picked up three fouls.

Memorable Vol Performances Against Arkansas

Bristol, Tennessee, native Bobby Hogsett scored eight points and added 10 rebounds as Tennessee won its first-ever game against Arkansas, 77-57, on December 27th, 1963, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

In front of 21,237 orange-clad fans, UT knocked off Nolan Richardson’s fifth-ranked Razorbacks, 83-81, in Knoxville on February 5th, 1992. Lang Wiseman and Allan Houston both scored 26 points.
 
The Vols upset No. 13 Arkansas in Fayetteville, 101-91, on February 16th, 1993, thanks to a double-double by LaMarcus Golden (22 points, 11 rebounds).
 
Cleveland, Tennessee, native JaJuan Smith dropped 32 points on the Hogs during a 93-71 win over Arkansas in Knoxville on February 5th, 2008.
 
Jordan McRae fueled Tennessee to an 81-74 win over Arkansas on January 22nd, 2014, exploding for 34 points—including UT’s final 13—at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Musselman Has Family ties To Former UT Coach Ray Mears

Eric Musselman has said that some of his approaches to marketing come from popular former Tennessee head coach Ray Mears.

Musselman’s father, the late Bill Musselman, was a longtime NCAA, ABA, and NBA head coach who played collegiately for Mears at Wittenberg College in Ohio, enrolling in 1958.

Bill Musselman, and later Eric, took note of Mears penchant for showmanship and entertainment to boost program interest and generate fan support.

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.

Second Time’s A Charm

Since 2018, Rick Barnes and his staff have guided the Volunteers to an 18-5 record in regular-season rematch games (SEC Tournament games not included).


Home Hoops During The Barnes ERA

The Volunteers own a 93-20 record at Thompson-Boling Arena under the direction of head coach Rick Barnes.

With Barnes on the bench, Tennessee is 46-16 at home against SEC opposition.

Barnes has led the Vols to a 9-7 home record against AP top-25 opponents. That includes a perfect 4-0 record against teams ranked in the AP top five.

Vols, Lady Vols Boast NCAA’s Fourth-Highest Combined Attendance

The Vols and Lady Vols combined for a total attendance of 461,146 in 2019-20—the most of any school in the country.

Tennessee ranks fourth nationally in combined hoops attendance this season.
 
2021-22 Combined Basketball Attendance
              Rank     School               Total Attendance
              1.           Kentucky            409,951
              2.           Arkansas            406,467
              3.           Iowa State          392,129
              4.           Tennessee          377,271
              5.           Nebraska            366,688
              6.           South Carolina   333,524


Next Up For Tennessee Men’s Basketball

The Tennessee men’s basketball team begins play at the SEC Tournament in Tampa, Florida. The Vols have secured a top-four seed and double-bye, meaning that they will play their first game during Friday’s quarterfinals. Exact game times, as well as seeding and opponents, will be determined following the conclusion of Saturday’s SEC games.

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