Well tonight is huge for us

Almost a must win game to open league play. Next 2 on road. Plus one of those is Kentucky. Our only true road game against Minnesota we laid an egg. Win tonight, split the next 2 and we’re off to a good start. Lose tonight and the possibility of an 0-3 start, oh my, natives will be restless. Tonight’s game huge. Have to hold home court. Must win game. I think we win, hope so at least.

Of course the idea that the first game of conference play, against a ranked and slightly favored opponent is a “must win” is preposterous.

But, I agree that it is important bc, as per the usual, the SEC has made the start of our conference slate pretty rough.

Pretty simple. Win and we are contender. Lose and we are a pretender. Been years since we have been anything but a pretender. 95?

I completely understand what you’re saying, but TN is tested and KY is well…KY. An 0-3 start might be a soul crushing event for these kids and the fans that are starting to get interested again. Yes, it’s early but this may very well be a must win.

In other news, Lunardi took us off the bubble and has us in as a solid 8 seed.

We are actually a 1-2pt favorite tonight, FYI.

Huge yes, but I certainly don’t see the first game of an 18-game conference season as a must win tonight and I don’t think they will fall over if they start 0-3.

It would be a nice win, would likely help with some fans who think 11-1 is not any better than last season’s 6-6 start through 12 games and would certainly grab some national headlines.

But it is a long season, a marathon and not a sprint.

Who is voicing this opinion?

I don’t think anyone has actually said 6-6 is no better than 11-1, but there are some threads complaining about non conference schedule.

I’m guessing that people can be less than impressed with the non conference schedule and yet recognize the improvement in the team and results.

The only complaining I saw about the non con schedule was regarding fans getting their money’s worth/ getting fans back in the building.

But to me, it looks like Mike knew his team well and what level competition they needed to build this thing for a March run. And ain’t nobody down on their potential for this year. But let’s not forget the heat that was recently on Mike to make the big dance this year or else. I think he is handling the pressure, and I know our fanbase can really put some steam in this program if mike gets it rolling. We are talking bout The Bud here.

So for a deep run in March, this game here is as huge as our matchups at Kentucky and back at Florida. There aren’t many others where one w can move the needle so much for our tourney hopes. If we don’t take advantage of our few opportunities left against tournament teams, then we will have to win a lot more road games and total games. No body wants to roll those dice again. Let’s go into every road game this year in the top of the sec standings instead of on the bubble. I like our odds to turn around our road woes that way. This game tonight is huge.

If your definition of a contender is what 1995 team did, it is going to take a lot more and a bigger win than Florida. I don’t know if you really meant to go all the way back to 1995. Maybe that was an attempt to make it look more dramatic and make people take notice. I certainly took the bait, in that case.

I will be happy if we get back to two years ago and do slightly better.

Tennessee is less than “tested” IMO. They’re 74th in Pomeroy, one spot ahead of Texas, who we’ve already beaten in Houston, and they start conference play in College Station. In all likelihood, if we’re 0-1 in conference, so will they be. Point being, that’s a winnable game in Knoxville. The hand-wringing is by people who still think we curl up in a ball every time we leave BWA.

Have only seen one Tennessee game and that was against North Carolina and they could have won that game. I was impressed. Barnes is a good coach. I haven’t been awed by Kentucky. They are good but can be beaten.

A plethora of fans who call the two radio shows I am on and a few on here who use the phrase “this year’s team no better than last year.”

I suppose that’s why I do my best to abstain from caller driven sports talk radio. Too many mouth breathing, knuckle draggers

TN has played 4 Top 25 teams at the times they played them.

#16 Wisconsin
#13 Oregon


#8 Gonzaga

They lost all 4, but had chances against both Oregon and UNC (saw the UNC game, they should’ve won). That’s why they’re ranked low. They also lost their first game against Chattanooga, which I’m sure isn’t helping them with Pomeroy. So, yes they’ve been tested.

My opinion on KY is, as said by a few on here, Monk has games he plays good and games he plays bad. I think because of what many said when he chose KY, he will be fired up and will probably have one of his good games. When he is on, it will be extremely difficult to beat KY (regardless of who is playing them). Now, if by chance he is off (a possibility) they’re beatable.

It has varied between us being favored by 1 and being underdog by 1.5. The site I use says Fla -1.5.