Busting Brackets

Kansas vs Tennessee: 2023 Maui Invitational game preview, TV schedule

Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

In another top-10 matchup in the Maui Invitational, Kansas and Tennessee face off in the 3rd-place game to avoid a second loss.

TV schedule: Wednesday, November 22nd, 2:30 pm ET, ESPN

Arena: Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii

This year’s Maui Invitational has four teams currently ranked in the top 10, all of which won their respective opening games. One of the semifinal games was Kansas (4-1) taking on Marquette, with the No. 1 Jayhawks trailing throughout the game. In the end, the top team in the nation fell, 73-59.

Guard Kevin McCullar continued his stellar opening play to the season, scoring a game-high 24 points and eight rebounds on 9/14 shooting from the field. He didn’t get much help though, with Hunter Dickinson (13 points) the only other Jayhawk with more than five points on the night. As a team, Kansas shot 41% from the field and turned the ball over, 18 times.

Tennessee (4-1) tried to take out the No. 2 team in the country on the same day in Purdue. It was a game that wasn’t easy on the eyes, with a total of 51 combined fouls called and the Vols having two bigs fouled out. It was a close, yet slow contest that went against the Vols, falling 71-67. Dalton Knecht, who has been the star of the team, had 16 points but just three in the second half in the loss. Jordan Gainey had 15 points off the bench but as a team, Tennessee shot 33% from the field.

It’s a cruel fate that one of these two teams will end Feast Week with back-to-back losses and potentially fall out of the top-10 altogether. For Kansas, being the No. 1 team and losing again could be a sign that their lack of depth is a real concern against good teams. And for Tennessee, they could be too reliant on Knecht on offense at times, which has been a past issue for Rick Barnes teams.

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Expect this to be a good game that’ll tell us a lot about both programs. The lack of depth that Kansas has and playing three games in three days makes me concerned that playing such a physical team like Tennessee makes this a real bad matchup.

Prediction: Tennessee 71, Kansas 59