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Vols ready to move forward, UT encourages fans to arrive early to game

Tennessee welcomes No.6 Arizona to TBA on Wednesday
Coach Barnes follows up on Saturday's debacle at Bridgestone
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 4:23 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2021 at 1:19 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The 19th-ranked Tennessee men’s basketball team is back inside Thompson-Boling Arena for its final game before the start of conference play, taking on No. 6 Arizona Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The University of Tennessee has encouraged fans to arrive early for the game if possible. As of Tuesday, over 20,000 fans are expected to be in attendance, which will be the first packed house since the beginning of COVID-19.

Fans can catch Wednesday’s game on ESPN2 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 81 on Sirius, SiriusXM and the SiriusXM app.

Tennessee (8-2) enters Wednesday’s non-conference showdown coming off of an eight-day break between games after Saturday’s game against Memphis in Nashville was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Memphis program. Wednesday marks just the fifth all-time meeting between Tennessee and Arizona and the first since the 1998-99 season opener. The teams have not met in Knoxville since 1982.

It’s just the second time in program history that the Vols have played a Pac-12 school ranked in the top 10. Following its game against Arizona, Tennessee begins SEC play with a road game at Alabama on Wednesday, Dec. 29. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

THE SERIES

Tennessee leads its all-time series with Arizona, 3-1, dating to 1956.

The Vols are 2-0 against the Wildcats in Knoxville, with wins in December of 1956 and 1982.•

Tennessee also defeated Arizona in Tucson in 1983.

Arizona’s lone win in the series was a one-point triumph at the 1998 BCA Classic in Albuquerque.

First-year Tennessee assistant coach Justin Gainey was an assistant coach at Arizona from 2018-20.

Tennessee freshman Jahmai Mashack’s older brother, Kwesi Mashack, was a cornerback with the Arizona football program from 2014-17.

Vols head coach Rick Barnes owns a 1-8 career record against Arizona and is 32-23 against current members of the Pac-12 Conference.

Tennessee is 21-12 all-time against current Pac-12 programs and won at Colorado earlier this month.

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