The 10th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers will be back on their home court Saturday as they take on their SEC rival Vanderbilt Commodores. The Volunteers have been impressive all year, but were upset in a tough 8-point loss to Alabama in their second conference game. The Commodores have not yet won a game in SEC play, and will be hoping to pull off one of the biggest upsets in college basketball this seaon.
Fixture: Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Tennessee Volunteers - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Friday, January 16th, 2021, 6 PM ET
Venue: Thompson–Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Vanderbilt Commodores Preview
The Vanderbilt Commodores have struggled since opening their SEC schedule, losing each of their first three conference matchups. Vanderbilt was originally scheduled to face the Tennessee Volunteers at their home court on Tuesday, January 12th, but the game was postponed due to COVID precautions.
Now, the Vanderbilt Commodores will be traveling to face the Volunteers on the road, and will have to have their best performance of the season to keep up with the pace of the Tennessee offense.
Key Player - Scotty Pippen Jr
The Vanderbilt Commodores have a familiar basketball name at the guard position, son of Chicago Bulls' legend Scotty Pippen, Scotty Pippen Jr.. The 6-foot-1 sophomore has been racking up baskets for the Commodores' offense this season, averaging a team-leading 21.6 points and 5.8 assists per game. Pippen Jr. could shock the college basketball world with a breakout performance and lead the upset win over the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday.
Vanderbilt Commodores Predicted Lineup
F Quentin Millora-Brown, F Dylan Disu, G Maxwell Evans, G Scotty Pippen Jr., G DJ Harvey
Tennessee Volunteers Preview
The Tennessee Volunteers currently hold a four-way tie for the 3rd place in the SEC, and have looked very strong despite their only loss to the conference-leading Alabama Crimson Tide. The Volunteers' offense has been somewhat streaky, scoring as many as 103 and as few as 56 points for victories this season.
Nonetheless, the Tennessee Volunteers have proven to know how to win, and bring a 9-1 overall record into Saturday's matchup. The Tennessee Volunteers have the more talented roster than the Commodores, and should expose mismatches on the floor all night.
Key Player - Victor Bailey Jr.
Victor Bailey Jr has been automatic from mid-range for the Tennessee Volunteers this season. Bailey Jr. is averaging a team-leading 12.4 points per game on 46.8% shooting. In the Volunteers' latest victory over the Texas A&M Aggies, Bailey Jr stepped out of his comfort zone a bit, and took every one of his five shots from three-point range.
Bailey Jr finished the game with only 3 points in 18 minutes, and we expect him to get back to his comfort zone with some high-percentage shots on Saturday. The Volunteers should have no problem handling the Vanderbilt Commodores, and could benefit from a nice bounce-back performance from their leading scorer.
Tennessee Volunteers Predicted Lineup
F Yves Pon, F Santiago Vescovi, C Keon Johnson, G John Fulkerson, G Josiah-Jordan James
Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee Prediction
The Vanderbilt Commodores will have to bring their best basketball with them to Knoxville on Saturday. The Tennessee Volunteers are a legitimate contender for an SEC title this season, and should leave no doubt in this matchup. We predict the Volunteers to come out with a strong first half performance, led by a more consistent night of shooting from Victor Bailey Jr. The hosts are definitely the stronger team, and will likely control the game until the final horn.
Where to watch Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee
The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network.Published 14 Jan 2021, 18:31 IST