Tennessee guard Jahmai Mashack (15) drives against Mississippi State guard Dashawn Davis (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Tennessee Hosts Auburn in Key SEC Matchup

The Tennessee Volunteers host the Auburn Tigers at the Thompson-Boiling Arena on Saturday afternoon. Tennessee comes into the game 18-4 (7-2 in SEC) while Auburn is 17-5 (7-2 in SEC).

After a crushing defeat against unranked Florida on Wednesday, the Volunteers look to go back to winning ways against the Tigers. The Tigers hungrily look to beat the Volunteers and climb up the national rankings.

Tennessee Looks to Take Advantage at Home

Volunteer fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as Tennessee is exceptional at home, winning 10 out of 11 with their only home loss coming at the hands of Kentucky earlier in the season. Away from Thompson-Boiling Arena, they are not as flawless, winning only 4 out of 7 outings. Tennessee comes into this matchup as the number 2 ranked team in the country.

Auburn is nearly identical to Tennessee at home, with each team holding an impressive 11-1 record as the host.

Tennessee has not lost back-to-back this season.

Auburn Looks to Win Big Away

Auburn comes into the game beating Georgia at home on Wednesday. Despite the win, Auburn is ranked number 25, dropping 10 spots, after two back-to-back disappointing losses against West Virginia and Texas A&M before they faced the Bulldogs. While they are seemingly spectacular at home, they are 4-3 when playing elsewhere besides the Neville Arena.

Auburn looks to change that with a key matchup away against Tennessee this Saturday, with a win giving them a respectable 5-3 away record.

Key Matchup

This game is important for both teams for two separate reasons. For the Tennessee Volunteers, a win would reinstate their chances of keeping their number 2 ranking on the national stage after a disastrous outcome against unranked Florida. In addition, it would cement their home court advantage as one of the best in all of the nation. For the Auburn Tigers, a win would most likely give them a higher ranking in the national polls after two crushing defeats in the last few weeks. If the Tigers win, they would have the same overall record as the Volunteers, but with a slight advantage over them.

Tip-off for the powerhouse SEC matchup is on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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