Kentucky Goes for Share of SEC Title at Tennessee

Feb. 26, 2010

Kentucky Goes for Share of SEC Title at Tennessee

The Wildcats set their sights on their 44th SEC championship when they travel to Knoxville to take on the No. 19/17 Tennessee Volunteers. UK needs a win to clinch a share of the title, while a win, coupled with a Vanderbilt loss will give UK the title outright.

Kentucky South Carolina 
Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Tennessee Game Notes
Date & Time Sat., Feb. 27, 12:00 p.m
Coverage TV: CBS
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Live Video via CBS
Live Blog
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Location Thompson-Boling Arena
Knoxville, Tenn.
Tennessee Volunteers at a Glance
Head Coach Bruce Pearl
Overall Record 435-128
2009-10 Record 20-7, 8-5 SEC
Ranking 19 AP /17 ESPN/USA Today Coaches
Series Record Kentucky leads 143-65
Last Meeting Kentucky defeated Tennessee 73-62 in Lexington, Ky. earlier this season
2009-10 Team Stats UK UT
Scoring Offense 80.5 74.9
Scoring Defense 65.2 65.1
FG Percentage 48.0% 45.6%
3-point FG Percentage 35.8% 33.0%
FT Percentage 67.6% 66.0%
Rebound Margin +10.0 +1.0
Assists 15.2 14.7
Turnovers 15.0 13.1
2009-10 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (16.7)
UT: Scotty Hopson (12.9)
Rebounding UK: DeMarcus Cousins (10.2)
UT: Wayne Chism (6.9)
Assists UK: John Wall (6.2)
UT: Bobby Maze (3.1)
3-point FG Percentage UK: DeAndre Liggins (43.3%)
UT: Cameron Tatum (40.0%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (1.6)
UT: Wayne Chism (1.5)
Steals UK: John Wall (1.9)
UT: J.P.Prince (1.6)

The Wildcats exacted revenge in its most recent outing, claiming an 82-61 win over South Carolina, the lone team to earn a victory over the Cats this season.

Patrick Patterson scored a team-high 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while DeMarcus Cousins pulled down his 17th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Cat Scratches: SEC title won't be easy with short turnaround

Before Kentucky can rightfully claim it has taken back the title of the nation's premier college basketball program, it must first find a way to reclaim the landscape of its own conference.

On Saturday vs. Tennessee (noon tipoff on CBS), the No. 2 UK men's basketball team will have a chance to win its 44th Southeastern Conference title and first since 2005. It's the longest stretch UK has gone without a regular-season conference title since going eight years without one from 1987 to 1994 (1988 title was vacated).

What does it all mean?

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Head Coach John Calipari Pregame Quotes

On facing Tennessee and Southeastern Conference play...

"It's a quick turnaround. It's like a back-to-back, so it will be interesting. We'll find out a little bit more about us. Hopefully we're good enough to win on the road in an environment like that which is going to be nuts. I go back to Florida, it was nuts, South Carolina was nuts, Mississippi State was crazy, Vanderbilt was crazy. This will be crazy and this will be nuts. They're all nuts. I'm probably expecting too much at times."

On the win against South Carolina...

"In that game last night, I like how we finished the game, the last seven minutes, six minutes we played really well. But, there are points in the game where you get somebody down 12 or 14 and all of a sudden it's six. Again, we had a happy team after the game. Of all that's important, that's the most important, that they are happy after a win. It doesn't matter how an individual played, he's happy."

On facing the pressure of a long season...

"What happens, the season for them is long. We're busting up against five months. Every moment they're on the basketball court, they have the pressure from me to perform. I hold the bar high every time we walk in there. Every time we walk on the court, whether it's in Rupp Arena or on the road, did they ever play in front of an empty seat - maybe in the ballroom in Cancun. Short of the ballroom in Cancun, which had the food in the end zone, I don't think there has been an empty seat when we walk on the court. It's on them, so the season becomes longer. There is no, `Ok, let's just go play this one and get out of here.' There is not one game like that for us."

On Tennessee...

"I've coached against Bruce (Pearl). He does a good job. He may try to come up with some funky defense and we'll deal with it. This won't be for the faint of heart, no boys in this game. It will be a hard game, a hard game to win. It's on the road and they are top 15. You are just trying to escape."

On post-season play...

"I've always taken the approach that it's about the seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Southeastern Conference Tournament is about our seed in the NCAA Tournament. It may not have any effect on it. Win or lose, that's good too, that's alright. But, it may have an effect on it. You have to do this to do it, then let's do this."