The Buzz Peterson era at UT will begin Nov. 16 when the Vols host Tennessee Tech at Thompson-Boling Arena, according to the 2001-02 basketball schedule released by the school on Sunday.
Tennessee announced that the Vols will make a trip to Alaska and will meet Marquette, Memphis, Louisville, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Syracuse in non-conference games this season.
In all, the schedule features nine teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season and another six teams that got invitations to the National Invitation Tournament.
"It's a very challenging schedule, but I like that," said Peterson, who has a 105-50 career record after coaching stops at Appalachian State and Tulsa. "Some of these tough non-conference games [coming] early will help us with the conference season. The road games - at Wisconsin, at Louisville, at Memphis and at SMU - those will be some stiff challenges. We have Syracuse and West Virginia at home so there are no nights off. The Great Alaska Shootout also has a very tough field. Once we get into league play there are no easy nights. We will have to face several teams ranked in the top 25 over the course of the season. I am looking forward to it."
After the season opener against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 16, the Vols travel to Alaska for the second time in school history. The Vols meet Marquette in the opening round of the 2001 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 21. They will face either Indiana or Alaska-Anchorage in the second round. Participating in the other half of the bracket are Oregon State, Texas, St. John's and Gonzaga. UT also participated in the 1984 tournament.
Tennessee will close out November with a home game against Appalachian State Nov. 29. From there the Vols will begin a stretch where they will play four of their next six games on the road. UT begins the month of December with trip to Dallas to meet Southern Methodist Dec. 6. After breaking for final exams, the Vols return to the road when they meet intrastate rival Memphis on Dec. 15 at the Pyramid. The Vols return home Dec. 17 to face Radford before traveling to Kentucky Dec. 20 to meet the Louisville Cardinals for the first time since the 1984-85 season when the Vols took a 100-84 victory in the third-place game of the National Invitation Tournament in New York City. The Vols will host West Virginia Dec. 22 before closing out 2001 with a trip to Madison, Wis., to play the Wisconsin Badgers Dec. 29
UT opens Southeastern Conference play with home games against Mississippi on Jan. 6 and Florida on Jan. 9 before hitting the road for tilts at Georgia, Jan. 12, and at Mississippi State on Jan. 16.
The Vols will take a two-game break from SEC opposition when they host Syracuse Jan. 19 and Middle Tennessee State Jan. 21. Returning to conference play, South Carolina (Jan. 23) and Auburn (Jan. 27) will visit Thompson-Boling Arena before the Vols travel to LSU (Jan. 30) and in-state rival Vanderbilt (Feb. 2). Kentucky will visit Knoxville Feb. 6. The Vols visit South Carolina Feb. 9 and then will host Arkansas Feb. 13. The Vols travel to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama on Feb. 16 and will then meet Kentucky in a Tuesday night ESPN game Feb. 19. Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt (Feb. 23) before making its second Tuesday night ESPN appearance at Florida Feb. 26. Tennessee will recognize its senior class on Senior Day against Georgia March 2.
The Southeastern Conference Tournament begins play Thursday, March 7, and runs through Sunday, March 10, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.