Staff Report: SPORTS

The dates for Tennessee’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) schedule were released Thursday, affirming when and where the Vols will play the second half of their season in 2021-22.

Tennessee travels to Alabama on Dec. 28 to tip off SEC play. The Crimson Tide went 26-7 last season, winning the SEC championship before eventually falling in the Sweet 16 to final-four bound UCLA.

Alabama spearheads a difficult first couple weeks of SEC play for Tennessee. The Vols return for their home opener on Jan. 5 against Ole Miss before traveling to LSU and Kentucky on Jan. 8 and Jan. 15, respectively.

The Tigers and Wildcats are geared to take a big step this season. The Tigers brought in key transfers Xavier Pinson and Adam Miller while also returning Darius Days and signing 7-footer Efton Reid.

Kentucky is looking towards a return to top-five status after a down 2020-21 campaign. The Wildcats return Keion Brooks and Davion Mintz to the lineup, with offseason additions of Georgia’s Savhir Wheeler and Davidson’s Kellan Grady to name a few.

Rounding out the Vols’ January slate is the only scheduled matchup against Florida. The Gators will be looking to pick up their first win in Knoxville since 2014 on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

The Vols February schedule presents less of a challenge when compared to the Vols’ brutal non-conference and January lineups. Arkansas is the only school that finished with a winning record in conference play last year on the Vols’ February slate.

Tennessee plays Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Kentucky, LSU and Arkansas twice this season. The Razorbacks are set to have a tough group this year behind Eric Musselman and sophomore Davonte Davis. Tennessee will close the regular season at home against the Razorbacks on Saturday, March 5.

You can find Tennessee’s full schedule here.

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