Tennessee basketball has its first major game of the season. No. 10 Tennessee (1-0) faces Wisconsin (1-0) on Friday (9 pm ET, Peacock) at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
Here is what to know about the matchup:
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Tennessee basketball is finally making the trip to Madison
Tennessee and Wisconsin announced a home-and-home series in January 2019. This trip is the second half of that agreement. Tennessee was slated to make the return trip to Madison on Nov. 11, 2020. The game was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vols lost 64-48 to Wisconsin in the first meeting on Dec. 28, 2019, at Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center.
Who’s who for the Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin returned four double-digit scorers in guards Chucky Hepburn and Connor Essegian and forwards Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl. Hepburn led the Badgers with 12.2 points per game and shot 40.5% on 3-pointers.
The Badgers and coach Greg Gard also added AJ Storr, a 6-foot-7 guard transfer from St. John’s. Storr shot 40.4% on 3-pointers and averaged 8.8 points as a freshman.
Freddie Dilione made Rick Barnes proud in season opener
Vols coach Rick Barnes and his staff were proud of the way freshman Freddie Dilione played in UT’s 82-40 win against Tennessee Tech on Monday.
“I thought he really, really tried to play defense,” Barnes said.
Dilione was the highest-rated prospect in Tennessee’s 2023 recruiting class and enrolled in January to practice with UT during the spring. Barnes emphasized the Dilione played through fatigue Monday and is figuring out how to play offensively without trying to do too much.
Did Michigan State help prepare Vols for Wisconsin road trip?
Tennessee has an early season test in a tough road environment at the Kohl Center. But the Vols have already faced a hostile scene during their exhibition at Michigan State on Oct. 29.
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“It’s like one of the best atmospheres you can ever have as a college basketball player,” guard Jordan Gainey said of Michigan State. “Then you’re going up to Wisconsin, they have a great atmosphere as well and just handling how we did and like business will be fine.”
UT beat No. 4 Michigan State 89-88 in the charity exhibition.
Tennessee vs. Wisconsin score prediction
Tennessee 75, Wisconsin 68: Tennessee tops its first Big Ten foe this season with a road win at Wisconsin thanks to a big game from Santiago Vescovi.
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Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it