Sports

Kentucky wins fourth straight SEC championship with victory over Tennessee

Kentucky wins fourth straight SEC championship with victory over Tennessee

Tennessee's shooting cooled off considerably against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second half of Saturday's SEC Tournament semifinal matchup.

The Tennessee Volunteers are going dancing.

Kentucky looking for its 31st SEC Tournament Championship and its first win this season against Tennessee.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (23-11) will head home to await today's announcement about who and where the Razorbacks will open NCAA Tournament play. His teams always get better late in the year. "It's not hitting me yet". If the Vols win their first round game, they would play the victor of Miami (FL) and Loyola Chicago.

Tennessee (25-7) shot a high percentage, regardless of the spot on the court.

HOT HALF: During the first half, UT shot a blazing 76 percent from the floor on 19-of-25 shooting to take a 48-29 lead into half.

"But they've got depth, we know that".

"Those four losses in a row really made us", he said.

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Arkansas was playing its third game in three days after beating SC 69-64 and No. 23 Florida 80-72.

The Tennessee Volunteers survived Mississippi State 62-59 Friday night, and though the game was closer than many liked, Vols fans are feeling optimistic. Arkansas had three of its first five shots blocked, leaving coach Mike Anderson's team to play from behind throughout.

"You saw us come together. They dug down real deep after being down 19 at halftime". "We'll be ready. The biggest thing is we've got to get our bodies ready to play, get our minds ready to play, and execute the game plan for tomorrow". Although Tennessee dropped to 37.5 percent shooting in the second half, the Vols made more than enough shots to keep Arkansas from making a serious push. Vol fans have been championship starved for at least a decade, and this team winning the co-regular season championship in the SEC brought with it a celebration the likes of which I've not seen. "So I think tomorrow will be that kind of game", Barnes said.

And oh, by the way, the Cats won three games in three days in St. Louis without rebounding machine Jarred Vanderbilt, who could return from an ankle injury to play at some point in the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee (24-7) received 15 points from Lamonte Turner, 13 points from Admiral Schofield and 10 points from Grant Williams. Daryl Macon finished with 19 points, Jaylen Barford had 14 points, Anton Beard had 11 and Darious Hall scored 11.

That aggressiveness translated to the rest of the team in the first half.

If the Vols can defeat Kentucky for the third time this season on Sunday and win the SEC title, expect jubilation from Tennessee's fan base.

"That's the blessing of a double bye", Schofield said.

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Either way, they'll be a pretty high seed.

Schofield, in particular, is a great player, leading the Vols with 22 points and 10 boards on Sunday.

The Vols said they don't plan to make changes in a third game against Kentucky. "We didn't allow that". The Wildcats' last lost in the tournament came against Florida in 2014.

ORLANDO, Fla. - Houston heard all the talk about favorites Cincinnati and Wichita State going into the American Athletic Conference tournament, and perhaps the Cougars felt a little overlooked. "That speed that he plays with is just huge. We're still young, we have a long ways to go, but we're starting to get it".

This marks Tennessee's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2014.

"We're playing real good", Gafford said. Well, we tied with Wichita State this year. Arkansas ranks 153rd in blocks allowed per game (3.6).

"I'm real, real proud of those guys and what they've done up to this point", Anderson said. "So now we move on to the next season". "That ends this season".

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