Scotty Hopson had 17 points and No. 16
Tennessee, with a lineup thinned by suspensions, dismissals and
injuries, beat No. 1 Kansas 76-68 on Sunday night.
Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor stole the ball and dished it to Brady
Morningstar, who hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 left to cut Tennessee's
lead to 71-68.
Skylar McBee, one of three walk-ons who played for Tennessee,
answered with his own 3 as the shot clock expired.
Sherron Collins, who bailed the Jayhawks (14-1) out of a near
loss to Cornell on Wednesday with a career-high 33 points, couldn't
help this time, missing three shots before time expired. Collins
led Kansas with 22 points.
Kansas couldn't find its composure in front of 21,936 screaming
Tennessee fans at a sold-out Thompson-Boling Arena, which was
hosting a No. 1 team for the first time. The Jayhawks turned the
ball over 16 times, while Tennessee (12-2) had only eight
The loss leaves No. 2 Texas and No. 3 Kentucky as the only
unbeatens in Division I and it was the fourth this weekend by a Top
Ten team, joining No. 4 Purdue, No. 5 Duke and No. 8 West Virginia.
It was the Vols' first game after coach Bruce Pearl dismissed
Tyler Smith on Friday, a week after the senior was arrested on
misdemeanor gun and drug charges. Tennessee was also playing
without Cameron Tatum, Melvin Goins and Brian Williams, who were
arrested Jan. 1 with Smith.
But Tennessee, who had already lost two players before the
season started, played even more shorthanded than that. Starters
Wayne Chism and J.P. Prince found themselves in foul trouble early
and both spent more than half of the game on the bench.
The Vols showed they could play defense even playing three
walk-ons and two freshmen at the same time. They limited the
Jayhawks, who entered the game shooting 51.3 percent from the
field, to an uncharacteristic 37.7 percent. Tennessee shot 48.1
percent, the best by a Kansas opponent this season.
Bobby Maze added 16 points for Tennessee, and Renaldo Woolridge
had 14 points and eight rebounds playing in place of Smith.
Kansas shut down Tennessee's game in the paint early until
Woolridge hit three consecutive 3-pointers - all from the same spot
on the court - as part of a 14-2 run by the Vols.
From there the Vols found the lane a little more accessible.
Hopson drove to the basket for a layup at the end of the run to
give Tennessee a 27-21 lead. Tennessee finished with 30 points in
the paint compared to Kansas' 20.
Maze gave Tennessee its first lead with a layup around big man
Cole Aldrich that made it 23-21 with 5:59 in the first half. Kansas
would only lead once more, on an alley-oop dunk by Taylor with
18:03 in the second half that made it 37-36.
Taylor had 13 points, and Xavier Henry added 10. Aldrich grabbed
18 rebounds as Kansas outrebounded Tennessee 42-35.
Kansas entered the game averaging 27.6 points more than its
opponents and having dominated then-No. 18 Temple, its only other
Top 25 opponent, 84-52 on Jan. 2.
Kansas won the only other meeting between the schools, a 92-58
victory at Kansas on Jan. 3, 2009. The Jayhawks dominated that game
as Collins and Aldrich combined for 48 points. Smith led the Vols
with 21 points and nine rebounds.
It was the second consecutive win for Tennessee over a No. 1
opponent. The Vols last faced the No. 1 team when it won 66-62 at
Memphis on Feb. 23, 2008, a win that vaulted them to their first,
albeit brief, No. 1 ranking.