3:00 pm
December 9

#7 Tennessee v. #1 Gonzaga

Who will WIN this matchup?

#7 Tennessee Volunteers (6-1)

#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-0)


Current odds:

Tennessee Volunteers: (+145)

Gonzaga Bulldogs: (-165)


• The line for this game is Gonzaga by 3.5 points.

• Seventh-ranked Tennessee had No. 2 ranked Kansas on the ropes in the final of the NIT Season Tip-Off two weeks ago, building a nine-point second half lead before eventually falling in overtime to the Jayhawks. Head coach Rick Barnes hopes the experience his team learned from that loss will carry over on Sunday afternoon when the Vols get a shot at top-ranked Gonzaga in the Jerry Colangelo Classic at Talking Stick Arena in Phoenix. Barnes said he was disappointed with his team’s poise and shot selection down the stretch against Kansas, especially considering the Vols are a veteran team that returns 11 of 13 scholarship players from a squad that tied for first place in the SEC a year ago.

• Gonzaga, which won the prestigious Maui Invitational with a 89-87 win over Duke in the final, comes in off an emotional 81-79 victory over in-state rival Washington on Wednesday night.

• The Vols have cruised to home wins over Eastern Kentucky (95-67) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (79-51) since the loss to the Jayhawks and have had a week to prepare for the Bulldogs. The 6-7 Williams leads the team in scoring (20.4 points per game) and rebounding (8.9) and is second in assists (4.3) while also shooting 45.5 percent from 3-point range. Admiral Schofield, a returning second team All-SEC selection, is second in scoring (16.1) and third in rebounding (6.0) while junior guard Jordan Bone (13.0 points), 6-11 senior forward Kyle Alexander (10.6) and junior guard Lamonte Turner (10.0) also are averaging double figures with Bone also leading the team in assists (5.7).

• Rui Hachimura hit a turnaround jumper from the left side of the free-throw line with 0.6 seconds left to give the Zags the win over the Huskies and is in the early conversation for national player of the year honors, leading the team in scoring (22.3) and rebounding (6.2) while shooting 58.1 percent from the floor. He finished with 26 points and seven rebounds against the Huskies while sophomore guard Zach Norvell Jr. (14), forward Corey Kispert (13) and forward Brandon Clarke (10) also scored in double figures in the game, with Clarke, a 6-8 transfer from San Jose State, also grabbing 11 rebounds. Senior point guard Josh Perkins, who starred during the team’s run to the NCAA Championship game in 2017, is averaging 11.3 points and 8.3 assists and made the key entry pass to Hachimura on the game-winning shot against the Huskies.

• Gonzaga is trying for just its second 10-0 start since joining Division I in 1958-59. The 2016-17 squad that lost to North Carolina in the national championship game began 29-0.

• Perkins leads the nation with 75 assists and needs two to pass John Stockton (554) for fourth place on the school’s career assists list.

• Tennessee is 4-4 in its last eight games against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation with the last win coming over Kansas, 76-68, on Jan. 10, 2010 in Knoxville.

StreakSmarter Pick
#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs