Taking Tech seriously is made even tougher by the series history. Tennessee has won 19 of 20 meetings – the loss being a 73-62 embarrassment in 1996 during the Kevin O'Neill era. That also was the only setback in program history to an Ohio Valley Conference school. Tennessee stands 42-1 all-time vs. current members of the OVC.
Like Tennessee, the 2006-07 Golden Eagles play "small ball" with a perimeter-oriented lineup.
The Golden Eagles' three-guard attack consists of 6-4 Belton Rivers (18.6 points per game), 6-2 Anthony Fisher (17.9 points, 4.1 assists per game) and 6-4 Rashaud Nixon (7.3 points per game). Fisher was a first-team All-OVC pick in preseason, while Rivers was a second-team selection.
Tennessee is riding a six-game winning streak, fueled by star guard Chris Lofton. The junior sharpshooter is averaging 28.7 points per game and is hitting 51.6 percent (32 of 62) from 3-point range during the six-game surge. For the season he is averaging 22.5 points per game and 4.3 treys per outing.
Following tonight's game, Tennessee hosts East Tennessee State Saturday at 8, then opens Southeastern Conference play Sunday, Jan. 7 against visiting Mississippi State.