Projected starters

Tennessee 8-10 (1-3 SEC)

G Trae Golden        14.3

G Josh Richardson        2.9

G Cameron Tatum        9.2

F Jeronne Maymon    11.6

F Renaldo Woolridge    5.3

No. 13 UCONN 14-4 (4-3 Big East)

G Shabazz Napier        14.6

G Jeremy Lamb        17.7

F DeAndre Daniels    4.2

F Alex Oriakhi        6.7

F Andre Drummond    9.9

How they match up:

UT                UCONN

71.7        Scoring O    71.7

67.4        Scoring D    63

45.6        FG %        47.9

36.9        3-Pt. %    35.5

68.9        FT %        69.3

+2.7        Reb. Mar.    +6.2

4.9        BPG        7.2

13.7        APG        14.1

5.9        SPG        6.1

-1.44        T/O Mar.    +1

Last five games


1/18 at Georgia Loss (57-53 OT)

1/14 vs Kentucky Loss (65-62)

1/12 at Mississippi State Loss (62-58)

1/7 vs Florida Win (67-56)

1/4 at Memphis Loss (69-51)


1/18 vs Cincinnati Loss (70-67)

1/14 at Notre Dame Win (67-53)

1/9 vs West Virginia Win (64-57)

1/7 at Rutgers Loss (67-60)

1/3 at Seton Hall Loss (75-63)

Last year

Jan. 22, 2011 in Hartford, Conn.

UConn 72-61

Why the Vols will win: The Vols may be on a three-game losing streak, but they lost by a combined 11 points in those matches, two of which were against ranked teams. The defense that coach Cuonzo Martin promised since he was hired last March has finally shown up. Tennessee hasn’t allowed more than 69 points in its past five games, and UConn only scores 71.7 points a game. The Vols have proven they can keep games close, but they have issues with turnovers and bad shots in the closing minutes. The Jeronne Maymon-Jarnell Stokes inside combo will be key if UT wants to pull off the upset. Maymon, who’s shooting 56 percent from the field (third in the SEC) has fouled out twice in the past three games, and had four fouls in the other. Stokes nearly had a double-double against Georgia in just his second collegiate game. If both can stay out of foul trouble, that will be key for the Vols to finish out the game.

Why the Huskies will win: Yes, the Huskies have lost three of their past five after starting off the season 12-1 in defense of their national championship. Yes, they’re once again missing freshman point guard Ryan Boatright (who averages 10 points, three assists) because of a pending NCAA investigation. However, UConn plays some defense, holding opponents to just 36 percent field goal shooting, while also grabbing 39 rebounds a game and blocking seven shots. They’ll need sophomore Jeremy Lamb (18 points a game) to step up even more and improve his 3-point shooting as of late. Although he’s shooting 36 percent from the season, he’s just 3-of-19 in his past four games. For a team that powered through the NCAA Tournament last year, a hostile environment at Thompson-Boling Arena shouldn’t be a problem.