The Tennessee Volunteers host the Alabama Crimson Tide Wednesday night in an SEC matchup featuring two of the best teams in the nation. Alabama is currently the No. 1 ranked team in the country, sitting at a record of 22-3. Tennessee is 19-6 and has hit a rough patch as of late, losing three out of its last five games. They have dropped in the rankings from No. 2 all the way down to No. 10.
a top-10 showdown awaits
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) February 14, 2023
Alabama and Tennessee have been battling for over a century. The two teams have matchups dating back all the way to 1914, with Alabama holding the advantage 82-70. Alabama has won the last three meetings against Tennessee. The most recent meeting dates back to Dec. 29, 2021. Additionally, Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes was an assistant coach for Alabama in the 1985-86 season. Barnes is 9-11 against his former teams and 3-5 against Alabama.
The Bottom Line
Alabama holds the No. 1 spot for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
The Crimson Tide have been elite all season, boasting a perfect 12-0 record against SEC opponents. Against the AP Poll, Alabama is 5-2, with two of those wins coming against former No. 1 team’s in North Carolina and Houston. The Volunteers have an 11-2 record at home this year and have won five straight home games against AP Top 10 teams. Tennessee has also been solid in the SEC with an 8-4 record against conference opponents. Against the AP Poll, the Volunteers are 4-1 with wins against former No. 2 ranked Kansas and former No. 10 Texas.
Alabama is averaging an impressive 83.4 points per game on 44.9% shooting. To pair with its elite offense, opponents are averaging 68.7 points against the Crimson Tide. Tennessee is averaging 72.5 points per game, and statistically, they hold the No. 1 ranked defense in the NCAA. Opponents are scoring 56.3 points per game against the Volunteers on a field goal percentage of .355. That number is good enough for second in the nation to pair with its first-ranked 3-point defense (.242).
Freshmen forward Brandon Miller has dominated for Alabama. The National Player of the Year candidate is averaging 18.8 points per game on 45.5% shooting to go along with 8.2 rebounds. Moreover, guard Mark Sears has also been crucial to the Crimson Tide’s success, averaging 14.0 points a game on 43.5% shooting.
Senior guard Santiago Vescovi leads the way for Tennessee, averaging 12.2 points per game on 38.8% shooting. Additionally, Olivier Nkamhoua has also been an impressive contributor for the Volunteers. The Senior is averaging 10.7 points to go along with a team high 5.0 rebounds per game.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Knoxville.