WHO: No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers (23-9, 11-7 SEC) vs. Missouri Tigers (23-8, 11-7 SEC)
WHEN: Friday, Mar. 10, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
HOW TO WATCH: ESPN
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
Tennessee: G Santiago Vescovi, G Jahmai Mashack, G Josiah-Jordan James, F Olivier Nkamhoua, F Jonas Aidoo
Missouri: G Nick Honor, G D’Moi Hodge, G Deandre Gholston, G Kobe Brown, F Mohammed Diarra
SPREAD: Tennessee -5.5
By Justin Clemmer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee has moved on to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament after defeating Ole Miss on Thursday, 70-55. This evening, they will face the Missouri Tigers at approximately 3:30 p.m. ET, in Bridgestone Arena.
When these two played back in February, Missouri’s DeAndre Gholston knocked down a deep three as time expired giving the Tigers an 86-85 win in Knoxville. At this time of the year, it was the second straight game Tennessee had lost at the buzzer.
Fast-forward to today, both teams are set to face off in the quarter finals of the SEC Tournament.
Tennessee is coming off a convincing win where the trio of Josiah-Jordan James, Santiago Vescovi, and Olivier Nkamhoua combined for 43 points in a 70-55 victory against the 13th seeded Ole Miss Rebels.
This will the first game for the Tigers in the SEC Tournament, they were able to secure the 4th seed, giving them a double bye.
Missouri has won their last four games and have gotten solid contributions from their starters. In their four game win streak, there were three times where they saw three starters score in double figures.
If Tennessee learned anything from their last outing against Missouri, it’s to not let them get hot from three. Missouri made 14 3-pointers, shooting at an incredible 53.8% from deep. The Vols nearly overcame a 17 point deficit, but fell victim at the buzzer.
Players to Watch
Tennessee: Jahmai Mashack will have his hands full with All-SEC first team player, Kobe Brown. Although Mashack slowed him down in stretches last time out, Brown got the best of him, scoring 21 points. Stopping Brown will be key for Tennessee and it starts with Mashack.
Josiah-Jordan James is coming off one of his best games of the season, notching 20 points against Ole Miss. He made life easier for the rest of the team, yielding a solid offensive output from the Vols. Missouri can get buckets in a hurry, James needs to fan the flame if need be.
Missouri: All-SEC first team player, Kobe Brown is the engine of the Missouri offense. The senior is averaging 16 points per game and 6 rebounds per game. He is their go-to bucket getter. The Tigers are tough to beat when he gets it going.
D’moi Hodge is playing his best basketball of the season right now. In their four game win streak, he is averaging nearly 18 points per game. Him and Brown are a formidable duo, and Hodge will likely benefit from the attention Brown will get this evening.
The SEC Tournament has had phenomenal games so far, but this could be the best one yet. I’m going to take the Vols because of their defense, but this game could go either way. Buckle up.
Tennessee 71, Missouri 68