Tennessee men’s basketball 2016-2017 SEC schedule released

Tennessee men’s basketball released its conference schedule on Tuesday. Here’s a brief rundown of the most notable matchups.

KNOXVILLE,TN - FEBRUARY 02, 2016 - Forward Admiral Schofield #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball released the SEC portion of its 2016-2017 regular season schedule on Tuesday. The non-conference schedule was released back in June.

Head coach Rick Barnes prefers tougher non-conference slates and certainly provided a number of challenges for the Vols in only his second season in Knoxville. Notable out-of-conference games include a match-up with Wisconsin (Nov. 21) to kick off the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, a home contest against Georgia Tech (Dec. 3), a challenging road test at Chapel Hill against the reigning national runner-up North Carolina Tar Heels (Dec. 11) and a match against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Nashville (Dec. 18).

The Vols begin SEC play against Texas A&M (Dec. 29) at College Station before welcoming the Arkansas Razorbacks to Thompson-Boling Arena for the team’s first conference home game (Jan. 3). Tennessee hosts its arch-nemesis Kentucky Wildcats first (Jan. 24) before traveling to Lexington on Feb. 14 and squares off against Florida in Gainesville on Jan. 7.

Sandwiched between a pair of home games against SEC foes later in the schedule is Tennessee’s SEC/Big 12 challenge contest against Kansas State (Jan. 28). The Vols’ regular season schedule culminates against Alabama at home (March 4) before the SEC Tournament begins on March 8.

Last season, Tennessee finished 15-19 (6-12 SEC) and 12th overall in the SEC, but still provided Rocky Top with a number of memorable moments in Barnes’ first year as head coach. Tennessee overcame a 21-point deficit to beat rival Kentucky and nabbed a pair of wins in the SEC Tournament, including a quarterfinal win over Vanderbilt. Tennessee kicks off the 2016-2017 season against Chattanooga on Nov. 11 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Tennessee’s entire schedule can be found at utsports.com.

Edited by Nathan Odom

Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics.