After a chaotic week of unexpected losses, the No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers will look to bounce back against the middling Mississippi State Bulldogs on Tuesday, Jan. 26th. Tipping off at 7:00 p.m., the game will feature two teams that have lost two straight games in the past week.
guess this is one of those times where you text a buddy pic.twitter.com/HBD277NG8w
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) January 24, 2021
The Volunteers, led by head coach Rick Barnes, were 10-1 on the season before their trip to Gainesville. With their single loss coming to No. 9 Alabama, the team and fanbase were beginning to look ahead to the SEC Tournament; they have not secured an SEC Tournament title since 1979. However, the team was quickly brought down to earth over the course of their next seven days.
Got beat (bad), plain and simple pic.twitter.com/IVtzFBG0Ui
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) January 20, 2021
The Vols started their week with a shocking loss to the unranked Florida Gators. Even though Florida was missing their leading rebounder, senior Colin Castleton, the Vols were still out-rebounded by the Gators, 36-44 in a lopsided loss. With a final score of 75-49, the road would not get any easier for Tennessee as they would return to Thompson-Boling Arena. Awaiting them was No. 19 ranked Missouri, who were eager to exact revenge for their matchup earlier in the season when the Vols won by 20. Missouri won the game by nine, and these two losses dropped Tennessee to No. 18 from No. 6.
— Mississippi State MBK (@HailStateMBK) January 20, 2021
Head coach Ben Howland and his Mississippi State Bulldogs will look to pull off an upset in Knoxville. While the team has grabbed a few big wins, such as a 15-point win over Missouri and a three-point win over Florida, the team has been plagued by inconsistency. After scoring 72 against the Gators, they could only manage to put up 46 against their rival, Ole Miss.
Final from Tuscaloosa pic.twitter.com/T8Lp3vIs9W
— Mississippi State MBK (@HailStateMBK) January 24, 2021
If the Bulldogs want a chance at victory against the Vols, they will need their sophomore stand-outs to rise to the challenge. Sophomore guards D.J. Stewart Jr. and Iverson Molinar lead the team in points, combining for 35.5 points per game on average. Fellow sophomore Tolu Smith will need to control the boards on both ends for Mississippi State, as he averages almost four offensive rebounds a game, and five defensive rebounds a game.
Where to Watch
It's a TBA type of Tuesday.
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) January 26, 2021
The game between the Vols and Bulldogs will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. The game can be viewed on the SEC Network.