This is our "House"- UT's home advantage

Winning at home is very important, especially in the SEC. Being dominant at home is even more important. Bruce Pearl has turned the UT Basketball Program around, but more importantly he has made the Vols deadly to play against in Knoxville. Go "Inside" to see some of the reasons why.

The Tennessee Volunteer's basketball team added another monstrous win to their record Saturday, as the No. 17 Vols (21-7, 9-5) defeated the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats 74-65.

The Vols have now won 26 of their last 30 conference bouts at home.

Assuming the Wildcats (27-2, 12-2) lock up a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, Big Blue will be the second #1 seed opponent the Vols have defeated at home this season. Tennessee defeated No. 1 ranked Kansas 76-68 on January 10.

The win wasn't just another shiny addition to the Volunteer's NCAA tournament resume, but their lengthy winning record at home.

This season, the Vols are 14-1 at home this season, as opposed to a weaker 4-5 record on the road.

Under Bruce Pearl, the Vols are 28-2 against non-conference opponents at home, including wins over Memphis, Ohio State, Kansas, Temple and Texas over the years.

The Volunteers success at Thompson-Boling Arena is well noted, as Tennessee ranked fourth nationally in average home attendance last season with 20, 483 fans per game.

The Sporting News named the venue the "SEC's Best Home-Court Advantage" for the past three seasons.

Last season, ten of Tennessee's 15 games at home exceeded 20,000 in attendance.

Big crowds have commanded nationally televised games throughout the season on CBS, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

Thompson-Boling Arena has also brought an array of celebrity appearances during nationally acclaimed basketball games, such as alums Peyton Manning and Albert Haynesworth, Kenny Chesney and Marissa Miller.

"It's a pretty strong family here," said head coach Bruce Pearl when discussing the advantages of playing in front of 20,000 supporters.

"How can you lose with that kind of support?"

The lights at Thompson-Boling Arena will shine over the men's basketball team only once more this season, when Tennessee faces the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. EST.

For a Tennessee team that has struggled mightily on the road, it could be the last victorious outing Volunteer fans get to be a part of this season.

Unfortunately for the Vols, the kind of success that measures truly great seasons isn't found at home, but on the road in the NCAA tournament.

Tennessee has one final road warm-up before conference tournaments take place in Nashville, Tenn. on March 11-14. The Vols travel to Starkville, Miss. to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday, March 6 for the regular season finale.


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