The Tennessee-Vanderbilt rivalry in both football and basketball largely has been dominated by the Volunteers through the years, but Wednesday night’s showdown in Nashville has a chance to be closer than many might think.
The Vanderbilt defense has been far from stellar, ranking 259th in the nation in points allowed on a per-possession basis. But Tennessee, which ranks 11th in this category, has given up 70 points or more in its past six games and is allowing more than 102 points per 100 possessions in its past four games.
Since falling 81-61 at Tennessee on Jan. 16, the Commodores have scored at least 70 points in seven of their last eight games with a cover or push on the spread in each of their past seven. Scotty Pippen Jr. is Vandy’s leading scorer at 20.5 ppg
Tennessee has allowed opponents to make 40.7 percent of their 3-point shots in their past three games and Vanderbilt gets 37.5 percent of its points from made 3-pointers, which is the 38th-most among Division I teams.
With Tennessee getting outrebounded by 3.1 rebounds per game in SEC play and Vanderbilt giving up the fewest offensive rebounds per game among any team in conference games, expect the Commodores to give Tennessee a challenge.
The play: Vanderbilt, +6.5.