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How and what to watch for No. 15 Kansas vs. No. 18 Tennessee

This SEC-Big XII Challenge showdown in Knoxville features two teams looking to regain lost momentum.

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Tennessee Volunteers guard Santiago Vescovi shoots a free throw against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s SEC-Big XII Challenge will feature a matchup of two top-25 programs looking to get some of their swagger back as the No. 15 Kansas Jayhawks travel to Knoxville to take on the No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers.

The Vols (11-3, 5-3 SEC) are looking to get another winning streak going after a close 56-53 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday snapped a two-game losing skid. With rising freshman Jaden Springer out with an ankle injury and sophomore Santiago Vescovi battling an injured hip, the Vols were bested by Florida and Missouri in their two worst outings of the season. Both will be ready to against the Jayhawks on Saturday.

UT has stifled opponents all year defensively, yielding just 59.3 points per game which is good for sixth in the nation and has earned them the designation of being the second best team in adjusted defensive efficiency per Kenpom.

Kansas (11-5, 5-4 Big XII) was also able to stop the bleeding on Thursday as a 59-51 win over TCU snapped a three-game losing skid, all of those setbacks coming away from Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

Averaging 14.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists this season, junior guard Ochai Agbaji was named a finalist for the Jerry West Award this week. He and sophomore Jalen Wilson lead a KU ballclub that has done well for themselves on both ends of the court, ranking 33rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 11th on defense.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Kansas vs. Tennessee on Saturday, January 30th at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can watch via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the ESPN app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Tennessee -2.5
Point total: 130
Money line: Kansas +120, Tennessee -148

  • Tennessee is 6-5 against the spread this season as a home favorite. Kansas is 2-0 ATS as a road underdog.
  • The under has hit in nine of Tennessee’s 14 games this season. Kansas has seen a near even split with eight overs and seven unders hitting.

The Best Bet

These two teams are evenly matched, ranking 18th and 19th in Kenpom, respectively. Expect a tight contest in which the Jayhawks make it a one-score game at the end.

Pick: Kansas +2.5

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