The winning streak for South Carolina reached three games before Mississippi State snapped it on Tuesday, but the Gamecocks can keep some of their recently generated momentum alive Saturday with a strong showing vs. No. 22 Tennessee on CBS. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. ET in what will be a rematch of Tennessee’s 66-46 win over the Gamecocks on Jan. 11.
Since the first meeting, South Carolina (13-8, 4-5 SEC) has found some offense to go with its typically stout defense. Its 46 points in the first game still stand as a season-low by 10 points, but the Gamecocks have averaged 72.8 points in their last four games.
Defense remains a strong suit for Tennessee (15-6, 6-3), which has won four of its last five games and is coming off one of its top offensive performances as it begins the second half of the SEC slate.
The Volunteers reached 90 points for the fourth time this season and for the first time against a high-major opponent on Tuesday in a 90-80 victory over Texas A&M. The performance amounted to an offensive breakthrough for a team that has often struggled to score, as five players reached double figures for the Vols in the win.
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Tennessee vs. South Carolina prediction, picks
Featured Game | South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Tennessee Volunteers
There have been some positive offensive signs from both these teams recently, but they remain defensive-oriented squads, and it’s hard to envision an offensive explosion here. South Carolina is 9-2 at home and will play Tennessee much closer than it did in a 66-46 road loss on Jan. 11. In the end, expect the Volunteers to narrowly win a low-scoring affair. Prediction: Tennessee 62, South Carolina 60
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