KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- We've hit March and the madness is starting to hit a fevered pitch, but the Vols will try not to go mad by avoiding some of the things they did wrong when these two teams met back on February 16th. For starters, Kentucky was the more aggressive team. The Cats physical play enabled them to turn six point half time lead into a 24 point advantage, Tennessee's largest deficit of the season so far, and eventually on to an 86-69 win. Regarding Kentucky's hard nosed play coach Rick Barnes said Friday, "I think they were more physical. There is no doubt about that. Our guys know that, and we just have to play harder than we have played. I think everyone knows that. I think we are physical. We have a game plan, and we have to execute it on both ends. We know that it is going to be a hard-fought game, and rebounding is going to be a part of it. We have to do a better job of not fouling. They do a great job of getting to the free-throw line. I expect both teams to play hard, and I think we are both physical teams." Here are my keys to the Vols clipping the Cats on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena. A win would would be Tennessee's 4th in a row over the Wildcats at home:
POUNCE ON P.J.: Tennessee will need to find an answer for P.J. Washington who scored a game high 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting. He had his way with the Vols in game one, especially moving to the right, his strength. The Vols will need to make him uncomfortable and force him to the other side. Thanks in large part to PJ's production, the Cats otscored the Vols in the paint by 16 points.
OUTSIDE SHOOTING: The Vols will need to increase their offensive production after shooting just 40% in their first meeting with the Wildcats. Tennessee ability to hit some outside shots will free up Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield and Kyle Alexander on the inside.
REBOUND, REBOUND, REBOUND: Kentucky's physical play was evident on the bords where the Cats finished with a 39-26 advantage. Second chance points will be key for Tennessee.
GET BOWDEN GOING: Shooting guard Jordan Bowden has struggled of late, scoring just 3 points in the first meeting with the Cats. Hiis play off the bench can go a long way towards a Tennessee win Saturday.
DON'T LET TYLER BE A HERRO: Tyler Herro's double-double was big against the Vols up in Lexington. He finished with 15 ooints and 13 big rebounds. Herro's been hot of late coming off a 29 point performance against Arkansas.
Tip-Off Saturday is 2pm on WVLT and CBS. Be sure to join us for our Tenenssee-Kentucky preview special beginning at 11:30am live from Thompson-Boling Arena.