Tennessee leads the all-time series 71-52.UT holds a 43-15 advantage in games in Knoxville. The Volunteers won both games with the Gators last season. This is the only meeting between the two this season.
Tennessee (16-10, 8-6 SEC) is riding a 5-game winning streak entering tonight.
Florida (22-4, 12-2 SEC) is #5 in the polls, #4 in the RPI and #1 in the SEC standings. The Gators lead Kentucky by two games with four games to go.
To help us preview the tonight’s huge SEC game in Knoxville, we called-on the color analyst on tonight’s ESPN broadcast along-side play-by-play announcer Brad Nessler.
Brendan Quinn and I were joined by Jimmy Dykes on the “News Sentinel Sports Page” radio talk show on game-day. Some quotes from our visit are below.
To hear our entire interview with Jimmy Dykes, click the video to the left.
Jimmy Dykes on what Tennessee has done during 5-game winning streak
“They’ve gone with four guards on the floor a lot which has opened things up for Stokes. They’re really scoring.”
Thoughts on Cuonzo Martin
“Cuonzo has pushed all the right buttons with this team. A lot of coaches can see the problem, but they can’t fix the problem. Only the best coaches see it and fix it. I think Cuonzo Martin is one of the best coaches in the game. I love everything about that guy.”
Jarnell Stokes and Trae Golden of Tennessee
“I think Stokes and Trae Golden have been the key all season long. They kind-of fought the coaching staff a little bit maybe early, and weren’t completely buying-in on everything the Vols needed those two guys to do. Boy, they’re really playing well now.”
NCAA Tournament chances for the Vols
“Tennessee has fought their way into a spot where a win tonight I think they’re a very hot topic for an at-large candidate.”
More on Tennessee’s tournament chances
“I expect Thompson-Boling to be off-the-charts tonight at the tip considering that it’s Florida and national TV. A win puts them, I think, just right there within that last three or four spots of making the NCAA Tournament as of today. It’s a huge game, a huge opportunity for Tennessee.”
On Florida’s shortened bench due to injuries
“You’re going to have to go with another guy or two. You can’t go into a ball-game playing six. I think you can play seven. Although Florida might be down a little bit, it’s going to take Tennessee’s best effort to win this game.”
How good Florida is
“Florida is built to win the entire thing I think. They’re that good of a club, especially when they’re healthy. They couldn’t win it right now without (Will) Yeguete and (Michael) Frazier. But, they get those two guys back, I like their chances to win the national championship about as much as anybody out there.”
On the Patric Young match-up with Jarnell Stokes, and UF defending him
“That’ll be a great match-up. Those are two football tight-ends in the SEC going at it tonight on the inside. I think Florida will play some zone. That would not surprise me at all. They play a really good zone.”
I also contribute blogs and predictions to MrSEC.com’s Overtime section.
Follow me @VinceSports on Twitter and see everything I’m working on in sports. Download the WNML App for your mobile device, so you can hear the “News Sentinel Sports Page” radio sports talk show that I host (weekdays 10am-12pm ET/9-11am CT) at www.sportsanimal99.com