The Tennessee Vols continue to make a statement during the last stretch of the regular season.
Riding a five-game win streak, the Vols host the No. 8 Gators Tuesday at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and can be heard on the Vol Network.
Tennessee (16-10, 8-6 SEC) is coming off a four-overtime game against the Texas A&M Aggies, defeating them 93-85. With the NCAA tournament looming in late March, Tennessee needs to finish strong to try to secure a seed in the bracket.
A win against Florida should help their resume immensely.
The Vols cannot afford to start off slow like they did against the Aggies on Saturday against this Florida team. Tennessee will need to keep the turnovers to a minimum and have the offense flow like it has the last few games.
A key to the Vols' offensive efficiency during this streak is guard Trae Golden. He is averaging 20.8 points in the last five games and was key to keeping the Vols alive against Texas A&M. Golden recorded a career-high 32 points versus the Aggies.
Junior Jordan McRae and sophomore Jarnell Stokes also need to have a big game in order for the Vols to pull off an upset against the Gators.
McRae and Golden each posted a 30-point and 20-point game last week. They have accounted for 62.3 percent of the team's scoring in the last two games.
Stokes has 12 double-doubles on the season, his most recent against the Aggies. He had 20 points and 16 rebounds. Currently, Stokes leads the SEC with 10.3 rebounds per game.
This will be the first start for Stokes against Florida. He only played 10 minutes against them last season in Gainesville.
Tennessee has been dominant behind the three-point line in the last three games. They are shooting .610 behind the arc, making 25 of 41 attempts. Senior Skylar McBee is shooting .474 from 3-point range in that stretch.
The Vols also need to shoot well at the free-throw line and draw fouls accordingly. Nearly one-fourth of their points have come off free-throws.
Tennessee will need to keep their focus against the highly touted Gators, who are coming off a home court win (71-54) against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The Gators (22-4, 12-2) will be without their best three-point shooter, freshman guard Michael Frazier II. Frazier suffered a concussion on Feb. 23 against Arkansas. He is said to be out indefinitely. They'll rely on three freshmen to fill the spot of missing Frazier.
Florida is without their best post defender, Will Yeguete. Yeguete is recovering from knee surgery and is out at least another week. This leaves just six experienced players for the Gators in the game against the Vols.
A win against Florida would give the Vols a six-game winning streak on the season and a three-game win streak in this series.
The Vols have recently had the edge in the series, winning seven of the last ten match ups and sweeping last season's two-game series. Tennessee leads the series in Knoxville, winning 43 of the 58 games that have been played here. The Vols lead the series overall 71-52.