WHO: No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers (1-0) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (1-1)
WHEN: 2 PM ET
WHERE: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
HOW TO WATCH: ESPN
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
Tennessee: Zakai Zeigler, Santiago Vescovi, Julian Phillips, Olivier Nkamhoua, Uros Plasvic
Colorado: KJ Simpson, Nique Clifford, J’Vonne Hadley, Tristan Da Silva, Lawson Lovering.
SPREAD: Tennessee -15.5
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After a 32-point win against Tennessee Tech, the 11th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers will travel to Nashville to take on Colorado, who dropped their last game against Grambling.
Tennessee is 4-0 all-time vs Colorado and has beaten the Buffaloes both at home and on the road in the last two seasons. This matchup is technically at a neutral site, but expect the Nashville crowd to be very Tennessee-heavy. It should feel very similar to Thompson-Boling Arena in Bridgestone today.
Even though the Vols were dominant in their first win, they struggled to shoot the ball in the first half. They shot just 4-21 in that period before turning it around in the second half. Against a more talented, better-coached Colorado team, they will need to get out to a much better start.
On the other side, Colorado is coming off a loss against Grambling in which they only shot 40% from the floor and 20% from three. They also turned the ball over 19 times and trailed by as much as 20 points in their 83-74 loss.
For the Vols, watch for Senior transfer Tyreke Key to continue his hot start. In the first game against Tech, Key led all scorers with 17 points and made four three-pointers. He was one of the biggest addictions for the Vols this off-season and could be the difference in the game.
On the other side, Junior guard J’Vonne Hadley has been impressive for the Buffaloes. The Northeastern transfer has made an immediate impact, scoring in double figures and grabbing eight rebounds in both games this season.
How Tennessee wins: Force turnovers and convert on the other end. For the Vols, it all starts on the defensive end. Tennessee forced 22 turnovers in its first game and scored 28 points off those turnovers. They will need to do more of the same against a Colorado team that has been turnover prone to start the season.
How Colorado Wins: Perimeter defense. Colorado is a huge underdog coming into this game, but they do have a chance to make an upset. However, they must run the Vols off of the three-point line. In the last few seasons, Tennessee has had long cold stretches in games, especially from behind the arc. In Colorado can force one of those performances, they have a chance to leave Nashville with a huge upset.