How to Watch
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Where: Imperial Arena, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Radio: 610 Sports (WTEL-AM)
Villanova may lay claim to besting Tennessee 2-1 overall, Tennessee can boast holding the most recent victory. In their last meeting during the 2010 NIT Season Tip-Off, the Volunteers defeated the Wildcats 78-68.
TNT may start taking notes, because the Battle 4 Atlantis has proven it knows drama. With North Carolina State toppling top-ranked Arizona, Tennessee beating a top-20 Purdue team in overtime, and Villanova edging to victory after a sluggish start against Western Kentucky, three out of the four tournament introductory games have been true battle royales.
Among yesterday’s many lessons, it’s clear Villanova cannot rest on ranked laurels. For the Wildcats to stay competitive against the Vols, a repeat performance of shooting 33.3% in the first half may not be in ‘Nova’s bests interests. Thankfully, the Wildcats have Jalen Brunson’s supreme talent to revive their offense. Brunson dropped a season-high 18 points to ensure Villanova’s W against Western Kentucky, and all signs point to Brunson maintaining his role as ‘Nova’s go-to man to lead offense.
For Tennessee to replicate their win, consistency is key for the Vols. The first half was marred by playing catch-up on the scoreboard, but a slew of three-pointers by Lamonte Turner helped ignite Tennessee’s shooting. Out-gritting Purdue in overtime is one thing, but pulling off back-to-back upsets is another. Though ‘Nova displayed a lapse in their point efficiency yesterday, Tennessee can expect coach Jay Wright’s seasoned squad ready to bounce back finely-tuned.