It’s Tennessee basketball game day…again. Just over 15 hours after beating Butler 71-45 in the first round of Battle 4 Atlantis on Wednesday night, the Vols will face Southern Cal in the semifinals on Thursday.
Tennessee (3-1) and USC (4-1) are scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. Eastern start on ESPN2. The winner will face No. 3 Kansas or Wisconsin in Friday night’s championship game at Imperial Arena on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The Jayhawks and Badgers meet in Game 1 of the semifinals at 11 a.m. ET Thursday on ESPN.
Santiago Vescovi scored all of his team-high 13 points in the second half against Butler on Wednesday, going 5-for-7 from the field, including 3-for-5 from the 3-point line, as the Vols edged the Bulldogs 21 after the half time.
Vescovi hit three 3-pointers over 66 seconds to help spark Tennessee on a 17-1 run to take control.
Tennessee Basketball: How to Watch, Stream and Listen
Whistleblowing time: 1:30 p.m. ET, Thursday
Location: Imperial Arena (3,500)
Broadcast: WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app
Radio: WNML-FM 99.1 in Knoxville. The Vol Network radio show (Brian Rice – play-by-play – Bert Bertelkamp, color commentator) can be heard on local affiliates across the state of Tennessee.
Take a closer look: Battle 4 Atlantis
USC beat BYU 82-76 in Game 3 on Wednesday to advance to Thursday’s semifinal. Transfer from Memphis Boogie Ellis scored a game-high 27 points, leading four Trojans in double digits.
Drew Peterson scored 16 points for USC, Reese Dixon-Waters had 13 and Joshua Morgan had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Florida Gulf Coast, which lost 81-50 to Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena last week, won 74-61 at USC to open the season Nov. 7.
Kansas beat North Carolina State, 80-74, in Game 1 Wednesday and Wisconsin held on to beat Dayton, 43-42, in Game 2. Kansas and Wisconsin will announce at 11 a.m. Thursday on ESPN. North Carolina State takes on Dayton at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNews.
Friday consolation games are scheduled for 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Injury notes: Josiah-Jordan James questionable with knee pain
Josiah-Jordan James did not play Butler due to what Tennessee described as knee pain. James had his knee checked in the spring and received three injections in three weeks last month.
James missed pre-season returning from the off-season knee procedure. He returned to the field in the season-opening win over Tennessee Tech on November 7 and had played in each of the first three games of the season.
Going into Wednesday’s game, James was leading the Vols in scoring (13.7 points per game) and rebounding (6.0) averaging 23.7 minutes per game.
‘We felt he would come in (he would come out)’, head coach Rick Barnes said Wednesday during his post-match press conference. “We knew he wouldn’t be available today. We will wait and see. It will be contestable tomorrow. We will decide. Day by day.”