Will it be racehorse basketball?

If Louisville coach Rick Pitino has his way, Saturday's game with homestanding Tennessee will resemble a horse race at Churchill Downs. If Vol coach Buzz Peterson has his way, the game will resemble a Tennessee Waltz.

''I don't know if anybody tries to play at the pace Louisville tries to play at,'' Peterson says. ''They average 85 points per game, which is high.''

If Tennessee is to compete with the high-octane Cardinals, the Vols must slow down Louisville's frantic pace. That's no small challenge.

''It's not easy to slow teams down,'' Peterson concedes, ''but they play a little more cautiously on the road than they do at home, as most teams would.''

For Tennessee to win, the Vols must do the same things against the Cardinals that they did against high-scoring Georgia in an overtime loss at Athens on Wednesday night ... only more successfully.

''For us to slow them down, it goes back to not turning the ball over and taking good shots,'' Peterson says. ''They know that's what teams try to do to them, so it's a matter of which team can get their plan in.''

Since Louisville plays such a fast-paced style, some opponents go with a smaller, quicker lineup in an effort to neutralize the Cardinals' speed. Peterson says that's not in his gameplan for Saturday, even though Thaydeus Holden (a 6-0 senior guard) has been contributing some key buckets and solid defense off the bench in recent games.

''We're not going to try to keep up with their pace,'' Peterson explains. ''That's not the way we play. We want the game played at a certain pace, with (the scores in) certain numbers. But you can't always dictate that. If we throw the ball away and shoot quick shots, the score will be in the 80s ... for them maybe, not for us. We've got to do what we do (run a patient, halfcourt offense) and hopefully that'll get the pace where we want it to be.''


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