On Tuesday, February 26, the Florida Gators travel to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. The Gators are in first place in the SEC with a 12 -2 record, while the Volunteers are fighting for an NCAA tournament berth. Florida may be Final Four bound – but there is not a hotter team in the country right now than Tennessee.
The Volunteers had perhaps their toughest win of the season in a four overtime game on Saturday against Texas A&M. The Volunteers have looked unstoppable since that huge win over Kentucky and are on a five game winning streak. This is the Tennessee team that was expected during preseason – Skylar McBee hitting threes from outside and Trae Golden playing like one of the best point guards in the SEC. Florida will have its hands full, playing with key injuries to Michael Frazier II and Will Yeguete hindering their rotation.
If Tennessee wins this game, they immediately get into the discussion for a tournament spot. The Volunteers are skirting the edges but, due to some good non-conference wins to teams like Wichita State, can make the tournament even with the current 16 – 10 record. Tennessee needs this game, and, with the way that the Volunteers are playing, look like they have a good chance of victory.
Last year Tennessee, with largely the same roster, swept Florida, beating the Gators twice. Florida will wish that it had this game any other time in the season, because Tennessee will not go down easily. Expect this to be a tough game and the Volunteers to win in Rocky Top.