On Monday afternoon, Penny Hardaway, the newly appointed Memphis head coach, announced on 929 ESPN radio that “Tennessee is back on the schedule”.
The last matchup between the two teams came in 2013 when the Tigers took down the Vols, 85-80. Cuonzo Martin was at the helm for Tennessee and Josh Pastner was the head coach for Memphis.
The most memorable game of the series came in 2008 when Bruce Pearl’s No. 2 Tennessee downed John Calipari’s No. 1 Memphis Tigers, 66-62.
The win brought Tennessee to its only No. 1 ranking in program history. Tennessee leads the all time series over Memphis, 14-11. Before the series was discontinued in 2013, Memphis had won three straight games against the Vols.
In his season recap press conference to the media, Rick Barnes both acknowledged and confirmed that the rivalry between the two schools is back.
“We had been working on (renewing the rivalry) with Tubby Smith since we got here,” Barnes said. “Don’t hold me to this, but the way the contract is set up, I think we go there first, then they come here. We have a meeting in Nashville.”
Barnes seemed just as excited about playing in Nashville as he did about the series renewal.
“We would love to make it a big day of basketball in Nashville,” Barnes said. “Not just us, but bring in other teams within the state and make it a day to really promote basketball.”
The official date of the first matchup between the two teams has not yet been announced, but Barnes confirmed it will be in the 2018-19 season.
Written by: Caleb Souders
Edited by: Sam Forman