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Colorado basketball to play Tennessee on Dec. 8

Tennessee is ranked 14th in the country.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes will have themselves a game on Tuesday, Dec. 8th. They will play the 14th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, tipping off at 4:00 p.m. MT and streaming on SEC Network+.

Colorado was originally supposed to play Colorado State on Tuesday, but the Rams are unable to play due to virus-related issues. The Buffs replaced them with the Colorado School of Mines, but they obviously favored a home-and-home series with a perennial Top 25 team.

Neither the Buffs or the Vols have played this past week. Colorado had to postpone games against Arizona and Washington State, while Tennessee has had to postpone or cancel all five games they were supposed to play up to this point.

The Buffs will return D’Shawn Schwartz, Keeshawn Barthelemy and Tristan da Silva after losing them to virus issues. That should give them a better chance for a road upset over a very experienced and talented opponent.

Tennessee will be led by forwards John Fulkerson and Yves Pons, as well as freshman starlets Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson. Fulkerson is a hyper-efficient post scorer, Pons might be the best perimeter defender in the entire country, while the latter two are athletic bucket-getters. If there are any weaknesses to target, it’s that point guard Santiago Vescovi can be exploited by McKinley Wright IV.

This will be a very tough for CU, but it’s a win-win-win. Losing wouldn’t hurt the resume a tad, while winning would likely be their best win of the season. This also means the Buffs will host Tennessee in 2022-23, when fans will be back in the stadiums.

The item to note is the familiarity between these coaches. Tad Boyle and Rick Barnes faced each other just once during their Big 12 days, and it was a home upset over the #5 Texas Longhorns. The Vols also have Kim English on staff, the former Buffs assistant and Big 12 foe to both Barnes and Boyle.