Knoxville, TENN. (WATE) – There’s no easy nights in the SEC this season. That’s an important reminder as 18th ranked Tennessee (15-5, 5-3 SEC) readies for a Wednesday night challenge against LSU (12-8, 3-5 SEC) at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Of the league’s fourteen teams, only Vanderbilt isn’t currently ranked among the nation’s RPI top 100.
The conference proved their mettle in the annual Big-12/SEC Challenge, topping the conference most consider the best in basketball 6 games to 4 last Saturday. Not among the SEC teams that played? Auburn, who currently sits at the top of the SEC standings with an 8-1 mark in league play and a 19-2 record overall.
Auburn handed LSU a convincing 95-70 loss over the weekend instead, and LSU will attempt to bounce back against the Vols tonight with less than their full complement of players.
The short-handed Tigers suspended key reserves Brandon Rachal and Wayde Sims for tonight’s game. Two more players, Galen Alexander and Mayan Kiir, have taken a leave of absence through the remainder of the season.
That leaves LSU with just nine players — including two walk-ons — available for tonight’s game.
Tennessee’s built a strong resume, and barring a late-season collapse, looks like a lock to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since a Sweet 16 run in 2014. But with ten regular season games left, all against teams in the RPI top 100, they have plenty of time to bolster their case for a top 16 seed over the next five weeks.
Tip-off tonight against LSU is set for 6:30 p.m.