BuzzBall in Music City

Life on the road in SEC basketball is notoriously tough but Tennessee head man Buzz Peterson has reason for optimism heading into tonight's game with Vanderbilt in Nashville. UT's head man has had considerable success there.

Peterson's first Vol squad, the 2001-02 team, beat the Commodores 67-65 on their home floor. His Music City record improved to 2-0 when his 2002-03 team slipped out of Nashville with a 70-65 win. Peterson's 2003-04 team would've made it 3-0 except that Scooter McFadgon missed two crucial one-and-one free throw opportunities in the final minute, dooming the Vols in a 61-58 loss last March.

''I think we've won two out of three there,'' Peterson said, ''and last year we were right there (on the verge of victory). We played pretty good basketball until free throws got us. It's a pretty neat place to play.''

Besides having history on their side, the Vols have vengeance on their side tonight. The Dores humiliated them 88-63 when the teams met Jan. 8 in Knoxville.

As Peterson noted: ''We should be really fired up to play against 'em after what they did to us several weeks ago.

''I would hope I wouldn't have to give a big motivational rah-rah speech after last time.''

You would hope so, all right.

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