Inconsistencies in recent weeks have prevented Tennessee from hanging with the likes of Gonzaga and Baylor atop the college basketball world, but the Volunteers displayed Saturday night inside Thompson-Boling Arena why they still have the potential for a March run to remember.
Adding stellar 3-point shooting and aggressive rebounding to their typical defensive prowess, the No. 18 Vols routed No. 15 Kansas 80-61 for a much-needed statement victory that capped the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Tennessee's resounding win gave the Southeastern Conference a 5-4 victory in this year's extravaganza, which had to be reduced from 10 to nine games when Kentucky, which was scheduled to face Texas, announced Friday it would pause team activities due to COVID-19.
The Vols (12-3) led the Jayhawks (11-6) in the event's headline act by as much as 26 points in the second half.