The loss of Patterson is, in a word, devastating for the Big Blue. He played a huge role in the Wildcats' 72-66 defeat of Tennessee Jan. 22 in Lexington, thoroughly outplaying the Vols' big men.
Patterson hit 6 of 11 shots from the floor and 8 of 9 from the foul line that evening en route to a 20-point, 8-rebound, 3-block, 3-assist effort. He also helped limit UT's Wayne Chism (3 of 8 from the field, 5 of 6 from the line, 12 points, 6 rebounds) and Brian Williams (0 of 2, 1 of 2, 1 point, 2 rebounds) to a combined 13 points and 8 rebounds.
When Tennessee began focusing more attention on Patterson, 6-9, 195-pound UK teammate Perry Stevenson went off on the Vols. Stevenson made 6 of 7 from the floor and finished his evening with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 assists.
Stevenson, normally a backup, is expected to assume Patterson's role in the starting lineup Sunday against Tennessee.
The Vols bring a 25-3 overall record, an 11-2 SEC record and a No. 1 ranking into the game. The Cats bring a 16-10 overall mark and a 10-3 league record into the annual border battle.
Tipoff is set for noon with CBS providing television coverage.