Colorado (2-0) at Tennessee (0-0)
The Vols hold a 2-0 lead in the series as this is the first meeting between Colorado and Tennessee since 1981 as Tennessee won both meetings in 1980 and 1981. It’s also the first Volunteers game in 276 days. Tennessee lost five games to cancellations due to the spread of COVID-19 within the program. The Buffaloes have picked up a pair of wins over South Dakota and Kansas State. Coach Tad Boyle debuted seven new Buffs in those two wins. Colorado has had four games affected as well due to the pandemic.
Vs. The Spread
The point spread on the game opened with Tennessee (-3.5) and the over-under was at 137.5. The money came in on the Volunteers and the under dropped a point with uncertainty about Tennessee as this is the Vols’ first game.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Colorado||+5.5 (-115)||+200||O 137.5 (-115)|
|Tennessee||-5.5 (-105)||-240||U 137.5 (-105)|
Last Time Out
Colorado won the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kansas by besting home standing Kansas State, 76-58, on Nov. 27. The Buffaloes shot 44 percent from the floor and assisted 33 makes in their opening two wins. They also made 32 of 36 attempts as they were paced by dynamic points guard McKinley Wright, IV, who averaged 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists in those two wins. Maddox Daniels and Eli Parquet complement Wright nicely on the perimeter and big man Dallas Walton shot 66.7 percent in those two wins.
It’s Tennessee’s opener losing a multi-team event with Charlotte and VCU, a matchup with No. 1 Gonzaga in the Jimmy V Classic, and dates with Notre Dame and UT-Martin. These of course were cancelled due to the rampant COVID-19 presence within the team and program. The Volunteers will be led by SEC Defensive Player of the Year John Fulkerson and big man Yves Pons in the paint. It is also the debut for a vaunted 2020 recruiting class which is led by ESPN No. 15 recruit Jaden Springer and No. 16 signee Keon Johnson. The Vols are most everyone’s pick to win the SEC this season.
The Buffaloes are picked to finish No. 7 by the media in the Pac-12, but Wright’s hot start earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors and he is as good as any point guard around so a higher finish than seventh is probable. Freshman guard Keeshawn Barthelemy and Tulsa Transfer Jeriah Horne look like they will give Colorado some depth as Barthelemy score 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds against South Dakota and Horne averaged ten points and five boards in both wins.
Rocky Top Talk
The potential depth of this Vols team will be a hindrance to opponents who cannot matchup even in the starting lineups. Barnes and his staff have fashioned the top recruiting class in the history of the program and they also added graduate transfer E.J. Anosike, a scoring and rebounding dynamo from Sacred Heart. He scored 1,098 points in three years and is 246 rebounds shy of 1,000. Coach Rick Barnes has a good balance of experience with the talented youth on the team.
Winner: Tennessee 72, Colorado (+5.5) 68
Over-Under: Take OVER 137.5