WALKER:What will it take for UK to beat Vols?

Can Kentucky beat Tennessee Sunday? I like what Kentucky has been doing. This won't be a game where Kentucky can go out and just try to outscore Tennessee. Make it ugly like they have been doing. They have played everybody but Vanderbilt tough and if they can create a close-game situation, it boils down to making free throws and Kentucky has done that better than anybody in the SEC.

(Editor's note: Article was written before the diagnosis of Patrick Patterson's season-ending stress fracture injury.)

Tennessee was able to beat Memphis because it made a few more free throws at the end. So if the Cats can keep it close, they could have a great chance to win the game at the foul line.

Kentucky's big loss at Vanderbilt a few weeks ago does worry me a little bit, though. If it gets out of hand early, it could snowball in a big way because Tennessee is that good. Kentucky needs to get off to a good start to take the crowd out of the game like Tennessee did at Vanderbilt to keep that game close. Kentucky can take a cue from Tennessee because in their last two games at Memphis and Vanderbilt, they took the crowd out of the game. That's a must for Kentucky.

If the Tennessee crowd gets into the game and those guys play with more emotion, then the Cats will have a big problem. If the crowd gets going, those Tennessee guys will play with more confidence and they are so talented that is a big problem. If that home crowd gets in a frenzy, it's unbelievable what the home team can do. I have experienced that at Rupp Arena numerous times. Tennessee has some great players with depth and talent. They have experience and won't get rattled. To beat them, you have to go in there and take it to them because they can really play.

I think Kentucky needs to hear from a source in a big way on Sunday that might not always play that way. I think Patterson will be there. Crawford and Bradley have shown they will be a factor. They are all great offensive threats.

It boils down to a guy like Jasper, or maybe Stevenson, having a great game. If one of them can really step up and play solid, then Kentucky has a legitimate chance.

I am a little concerned that Tennessee had that extra day off after two emotionally draining games with Memphis and Vanderbilt. I would like to have played them sooner when they still had the hangover from being No. 1.

Now they know they are not going to stay No. 1, and they will be refocused. You don't know what they will be like. They could be explosive and ready to bury you, or maybe they could struggle. But I think I lean toward them being ready, especially since Kentucky beat them up here. They will have that revenge factor in mind. I don't think we will see a flat team because this is the SEC championship game. We will see a team ready to play. The question is will we be ready to match that intensity that they will come out with.

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