Let me be clear: this is a winnable game for the Dawgs. They haven't been out of a single game since the debacle at Missouri. They scared the bejesus out of UK in Lexington, gave Mississippi all they could handle in Athens and came up one shot short of upsetting Mississippi State on the road. The Vols are playing inspired basketball right now, mostly on the back of Wayne Chisolm's play underneath. IF we find a counterpoint to him AND stay out of foul trouble, this game is up for grabs. BTW, a couple of those suspended players are back, so it is an open question how Bruce Pearl handles those guys, especially considering how well the Vols have been playing in their absence.
The theme for this season has been improvement. The Dawgs, after tonight, will have faced four of the top five teams in the conference. A win tonight puts them in a place to win 7-10 conference games, as long as the play continues to improve and there is no let down. A loss, as long as the Dawgs are showing improvement, while hurting their postseason chances, will still give me some hope of making it if we make a deep run in the SEC tourney.
An effort like we saw against Mizzu, UAB or Wofford? Throw it all out the window and start over.
building in excitement and size. This is a huge game, both in terms of needing to show the conference the Dawgs are on the way back and that our fans can and will make Stegeman more than a nice little excursion away from home. It needs to rock and when the Rocky guy comes out during the last TV time out, it needs to come unglued. Tennessee is used to playing hard fought games in front of crowds, just not in Athens. That could be the difference, so if you haven't decided to go, do it now.
Tip off is at 5pm Eastern.
Wishes he could go to Athens tonight.
UPDATE: Game sold out now. Plus, a trick shot from Coach Richt (h/t Passer's Remorse):