March 14, 2009
A win Saturday against Auburn would propel the Vols into Sunday's 1 p.m. championship game against either LSU or Mississippi State. The Vols suffered a 78-77 road loss at Auburn on Feb. 7.
In its last outing, Tennessee avenged a five-day-old home loss to Alabama by throttling the Crimson Tide 86-62 in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals Friday. J.P. Prince had his first career double-double.
With its win Friday, Tennessee posted its fourth straight 20-win campaign and its 22nd overall 20-win season. Head coach Bruce Pearl has now led his teams to seven straight 20-win seasons.
The Auburn Series
This will be the 105th all-time meeting between Tennessee and Auburn ... Tennessee leads the all-time series 67-37 ... Last year the Vols posted an 89-70 win in Knoxville, but the Tigers used a closing seconds layup to beat UT 78-77 this year ... UT has won eight of the last 12 meetings overall ... The Vols lead the series 41-7 in Knoxville ... UT has won eight of the last nine meetings in Knoxville, including the last five ... The Tigers hold a 25-22 advantage in Auburn ... UT holds a 7-3 advantage over Auburn when the two teams meet in the SEC Tournament.
The Last Clash With Auburn
Tennessee shot 59.2 percent from the floor and made 12 of 13 two-point attempts in the second half on Feb. 7, but it wasn't enough as Auburn used a game-winning layup by Korvotney Barber with six seconds left in the game to hand the Vols their first SEC road loss of the season ... The Tigers shot 53.7 percent in the game and out-rebounded the Vols 34-21 ... Tennessee trailed 41-43 at the half, and the game featured a dozen lead changes ... Tyler Smith led UT with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting ... Scotty Hopson went 4-for-5 from 3-point range en route to a 14-point performance, and J.P. Prince scored a season-high 18 points while dishing out seven assists ... Rasheem Barrett led the way for Auburn, scoring a game-high 27 points and pulling down seven rebounds ... Barber added 21 points and eight boards ... Auburn scored 19 second-chance points, while UT managed just two ... The Vols' bench outscored the Tigers' bench 11-1 ... It was the first time all season that Tennessee lost when holding a lead with five minutes to play (12-0 coming into the game).
The Big Orange In The SEC Tournament
The Vols are 56-44 all-time in the SEC Tournament ... Since the tournament was renewed in 1979, the Vols are 21-29 ... Tennessee's four SEC Tournament titles are the third-most of any league member ... Only Kentucky (25) and Alabama (6) have won the tournament more times ... Only Kentucky (111 wins) and Alabama (57) have more SEC Tournament victories.