KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee men’s basketball team has lost as many games in the last two weeks as they did in the first three months of the season and will attempt to get back on track against the top-ranked team in the country.
The Vols slid four spots from No. 6 to No. 10 in the Week 15 edition of the Associated Press Top 25 released on Monday. For the first time in 20 years, Alabama rose to No. 1 two days before they travel to Knoxville for a highly-anticipated clash against Tennessee.
Rick Barnes’ team will look to recapture the form that pushed them to the No. 2-rank in the country after a commanding win over Texas, who now sit at No. 6 in the latest poll.
Tennessee began February with their second SEC loss of the season, a road game with Florida where they shot just 27.9% from the field. The Vols battled back for a gritty home victory over Auburn three days later.
Vanderbilt claimed its first win over Tennessee since 2017 on a last second three-pointer on Feb. 8 in Nashville. Missouri compounded their woes with three days later with another stunning buzzer-beater, marking the first time Tennessee had lost consecutive games all season.
With six games remaining in the regular season, the Vols will hope to regain momentum before mounting their SEC Tournament title defense.
Rick Barnes may be without two key contributors against Alabama. Senior forward Josiah Jordan-James did not play against Missouri after suffering an ankle sprain against Missouri, while freshman Julian Phillips deals with an injury to his hip flexor.
Tennessee will host Alabama Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.