Volunteers 2-0 in SEC Play
The No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers try to extend their three-game winning streak when they visit the South Carolina Gamecocks for an SEC battle on Saturday. Tennessee has picked up wins in its first two conference games this season and is tied atop the league standings with Alabama heading into the weekend. South Carolina had its two-game winning streak snapped with an overtime loss to Vanderbilt on Tuesday and is looking for its first conference win in this one. Both teams want to stay on pace in the conference race, so this game should be a good one. Check out our in-depth preview of the contest to help with your betting online on the game.
Tennessee Turning Up Defensive Intensity
The Tennessee Volunteers are one of the top-scoring defenses in the country, ranking in the top five in the nation with their 53.2 points per game allowed. However, that average has gone down over the last three games, as Tennessee has limited its opponents to just 52.0 points over that span.
The Volunteers were helped on Tuesday night when senior guard Josiah-Jordan James played for the first time since early December. He had eight points and four assists in 17 minutes off the bench, but he’ll be a big part of the Volunteers’ defense as he averages 1.5 steals per contest.
“The last couple days, since he’s been in practice, he’s been the Josiah we know he can be — and he affects the game,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said of James after Tuesday’s win.
Senior guard Santiago Vescovi leads a very balanced Tennessee offensive attack, scoring 12.8 points per game. He’s averaged 18.0 points over the last three games, including shooting 12-for-20 from 3-point range.
South Carolina Falls Short in SEC Opener
The South Carolina Gamecocks were unable to cash in on the momentum of forcing overtime with just 0.3 seconds to play on Tuesday night, falling to Vanderbilt in the SEC opener for both teams. South Carolina tied the game when Hayden Brown hit a lob lay-up off a pass from Meechie Johnson but was outscored by five in the extra period.
Freshman forward Gregory Jackson II is averaging 16.9 points and 7.5 rebounds, pacing the Gamecocks in both categories. He was 0-for-7 from 3-point range in Tuesday’s loss after hitting four 3-pointers in a win over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 30.
Senior guard Chico Carter Jr. is scoring 12.3 points per game, hitting 52.5% from 3-point range. He had a big game against Vanderbilt, finishing with 24 points, six rebounds, three assists, and hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Johnson paces the Gamecocks with 3.7 assists per contest while contributing 11.6 points and 4.3 rebounds. The junior guard scored 18 points against Vanderbilt and averaged 17.6 points over the last three contests.
Tennessee vs South Carolina Game Injuries
Tennessee vs South Carolina Head-to-Head
The Volunteers are on a three-game winning streak against the Gamecocks entering Saturday’s contest, including a win in Columbia, SC, in the last matchup in February 2022. The Volunteers have an all-time 50-28 edge in the rivalry.
South Carolina’s only win in the last nine meetings was a home win in February 2020. The college basketball lines for Saturday’s game favor the visitors to extend their winning streak in the rivalry.
Tennessee vs South Carolina Game Information
- Game: Tennessee (12-2, 2-0 SEC) vs South Carolina (7-7, 0-1)
- Location: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC
- Day/Time: Saturday, Jan. 7th, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Tennessee vs South Carolina Live Stream: TBS.com
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Tennessee vs South Carolina Betting Lines
Tennessee vs South Carolina Picks & Prediction
Tennessee has one of the country’s better defenses, so it will make it tough on South Carolina. Look for the Volunteers to pull away late in this one to pick up the victory and cover as 18-point favorites.