The hostile environment that awaits the Tennessee basketball team today will be much like the reception they get in Lexington. It’s going to be loud and crazy, with a splash of hostility. But I wouldn’t expect any different.
This is what happens when Kentucky fans travel to the SEC Tournament. They take over. As we sit here during the Arkansas vs.Texas A&M game, you can’t help but to look around and see all the blue, with pockets of orange. But the Tennessee players know exactly what they are walking into, so it shouldn’t catch them off guard.
It was always going to be like this when the Tournament bracket was announced, while we get the feeling of that 2019 matchup inside Bridgestone Arena, in which the Vols ended up winning after a furious comeback.
What we’ve seen this season is both teams get decisive wins on their home court, making this the 3rd fight in the 2021-2022 series. While I was taking notes on the Arkansas game, I wondered how loud this place was going to get soon, while talking to one of the assistant coaches for the next game.
The scene outside the arena was filled with fans either wearing ponchos or drenched because of the rain, but it didn’t dampen their spirit for what was to come. This is the showdown that fans of both teams wanted, one final game this season against hated rivals.
Though Kentucky fans have taken over the place, credit to the Arkansas faithful who make the long trip, setting up in the end zone and calling the hogs.
It will be pretty pro-Wildcats today inside the arena, which is nothing new. Prepare yourself for a crazy atmosphere, no matter where you’re watching the game. I am sure Tennessee doesn’t care how many fans are in the building.