April 29, 2014
Tennessee announced Tuesday that the Volunteers men's basketball program has signed a two-game, home-and-home contract with Butler University. The series begins next season in Knoxville.
The Vols will host the Bulldogs at Thompson-Boling Arena this winter on Dec. 14, and the teams will play at Butler's historic Hinkle Fieldhouse on Dec. 12, 2015, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Tennessee trails its all-time series with Butler 2-1, dating to 1958. The Vols won the most recent meeting 76-71, in overtime, in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament in Birmingham, Ala.
Led by first-year head coach Brandon Miller, Butler just completed its first season in the Big East Conference.
The Vols own a 27-22 all-time record against current members of the Big East. New UT head coach Donnie Tyndall has yet to face a current Big East program as a head coach.
Tennessee and Butler are two of only 13 programs in the nation to make at least four NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances in the last eight seasons. The Bulldogs made consecutive national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011, falling to Duke and UConn, respectively.
In addition to hosting Butler next season, UT plays NC State on the road and joins Georgia Tech, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Rider, Santa Clara and Xavier in the eight-team field at the Old Spice Classic Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 27-30) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.
Tennessee also is expected to host a Big XII opponent next season in Knoxville as part of the second annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.