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Vols ready for some Rock Chalk Jayhawk

(WVLT)
Published: Jan. 24, 2020 at 9:17 PM EST
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The Tennessee men's basketball team hits the road for its nonconference finale against the third-ranked Kansas Jayhawks, inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.

All the talk with Kansas basketball this week has been about that fight Tuesday night at the end of the Kansas State game, but Saturday the Vols will look to knock off the short-handed Jayhawks.

Two K-U players were suspended in the wake of that brawl but coach Rick Barnes says don't be fooled, "Bill does a great job and whether its a suspension or injury bill will look at it as any coach, next man up. That’s what we expect."

Of course he's talking about Kansas coach, Bill Self. The two players suspended for Kansas were combining this season for 10 points and 7 rebounds a game. As for the Vols there's one

thing that stands out for coach Self, "What jumps out is four of their top five starters are left handed. We don't even have one guy on our team left handed. They have six of their top 10 that are left handed, so that'll be awkward to defend. Usually those are the hardest teams to guard when you know everyone's capable of getting 20."

THE SERIES

• Tennessee owns a 1-3 all-time record vs. Kansas, dating to 2009.

• That first-ever meeting took place at Allen Fieldhouse, with KU claiming a 92-85 victory. The Vols avenged that loss the following season by upsetting the top-ranked Jayhawks in Knoxville on Jan. 10, 2010.

• The four previous meetings have been decided by an average of nine points.

• Tennessee's all-time record against current members of the Big 12 stands at 14-17.

• Rick Barnes' 2010-11 Texas squad posted a 74-63 win at Allen Fieldhouse.

A WIN WOULD...

• Give the Vols a 5-3 record against teams ranked in the AP top five during the Barnes era.

• Be Rick Barnes' eighth head-to-head victory against Bill Self. His seven wins vs. Self currently tie for the most among active coaches (with Tom Izzo of Michigan State).

STORYLINES

• This week one year ago (Jan. 21, 2019), Tennessee ascended to No. 1 in both major polls.

• The 2020 Big 12/SEC Challenge marks the event's seventh year. Tennessee is 4-1 in the event, as the Vols did not take part in the inaugural challenge.

• The Big 12 won the challenge in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019. The SEC claimed its lone win in 2018, and the series was tied in 2017. The Big 12 has a cumulative advantage of 35-25 (.583).

• This is Tennessee's sixth time playing with the ESPN College Gameday crew on site. The Vols are 3-2 in those matchups. The six appearances tie for 11th-most among Division I programs.

• Tennessee's staff will sport Nike footwear Saturday as part of the NABC's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers Week.

• The Vols are 17-5 all-time in Suits & Sneakers games, including a 6-3 mark on the road.

• Dating to the start of the 2017-18 season, Tennessee is 17-9 (.654) in true road games.

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