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Tennessee Basketball: 3 keys for Vols to beat Kentucky in top-10 matchup

Tennessee is fresh off a loss on Tuesday night. They are traveling to a hostile Rupp Arena. What must they do to win the top 10 matchup against Kentucky

Jan 30, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Josiah-Jordan James (30) brings
Jan 30, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Josiah-Jordan James (30) brings / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
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There is a loaded schedule of games on Saturday. There are games between two top 10 teams all over the schedule and one of them is happening in the SEC between two top 10 teams. Those two teams are the number 10 Kentucky Wildcats and the number 5 Tennessee Volunteers.

The game is at Rupp Arena on the campus of the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky normally has a great home-court advantage, but they have already lost twice at Rupp this season. The Wildcats are fresh off a loss to the Florida Gators. That was a home loss to Florida. Kentucky wants to avoid a two-game losing streak at home to conference opponents but they are going to have their hands full with a good Tennessee team on Saturday.

Tennessee comes into the game against Kentucky fresh off a loss to South Carolina. That was a loss where the Volunteers could not score points and home losses are never an easy pill to swallow. The Volunteers are right in the think of the SEC conference race and need to avoid a loss to Kentucky to keep the pace with Alabama atop the league.

Kentucky is going to pose some matchup problems for Tennessee, but they do have some things they can do to win those matchups and ultimately the game. There are three keys that head coach Rick Barnes needs his team to focus on to avoid the 0-2 week and to pick up the win at the hostile Rupp Arena.