Today’s basketball game against Vanderbilt was a big one. Only two games separated these teams in the SEC East standings heading into Saturday’s matchup. The Vols and the Commodores are competing for SEC Tournament seeding and both are fighting for NCAA Tournament bids.
Then there is the revenge factor. Vanderbilt edged the Vols 82-81 in Nashville earlier this season on a last second tip in. That was a hard loss to swallow for the players, coaches and fans alike. It was Vanderbilt’s first win against a Bruce Pearl coached Tennessee team. The Vols won both games last season.
There is also the coaching factor. Kevin Stallings doesn’t appear to be a big fan of Bruce Pearl. Why would he be? Pearl comes in and wins 22 games in his first season at Tennessee, wins the SEC East and earns a #2 seed in the Big Dance. Stallings knows that another good coach in the league means that mediocre coaches like himself are going to struggle. Stallings views became public when Mickey Dearstone overheard Stallings calling Bruce Pearl an idiot. Granted, it was off the record but that won’t stop me from bringing it up.
We can all look back now and laugh and just be thankful for the Tim Floyd incident.
Interestingly, former coach Don DeVoe, had a good feeling about this game. He predicted Tennessee by 30. A pretty bold prediction and not far off as it turns out. The Vols annihilated The Commodores by 27, the largest margin over Vandy since 1947 according to Chris Lowe, and the game wasn’t really as close as the score. Can somebody find out who DeVoe likes tonight? I need a sure thing.
Vanderbilt’s win over Tennessee in Nashville gave the Dores the confidence they needed to go on quite a run. They won 5 of its next 7 games after beating Tennessee, including wins against Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky (in Lexington), and at LSU (in Baton Rouge). Maybe this drubbing will have the opposite effect and send them into the crapper. If they lost their last six conference games, I would be ok with it.
Congratulations to Wayne Chism on his double double. Chism lead the team with 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
Vols and Vandy Highlights (Don’t miss Chism’s dunks. Wow!)