The Tennessee Volunteers and Memphis Tigers have had some classic matchups in the past. The two in-state adversaries have been dormant, however, in the last couple years. The Tigers and Vols haven’t met on the hardwood since January 4, 2013. Prior to that, they had met each season for eight consecutive seasons and 22 of the 25 between 1988-2012.
But now, with a new sheriff in town in Memphis, that is fixing to change. Penny Hardaway, as you may remember, is the new head coach for the Tigers men’s basketball team. He recently replaced Tubby Smith, and a jolt of excitement has pierced through the program. That jolt may extend out east towards Knoxville, now. On Monday, Hardaway claimed that Tennessee is “back on the schedule.”
Penny on schedule: Tennessee is back on the schedule. I’m trying to get a home and home with Cal. Cal promised me if I became a head coach we’d get something set up.”— 929ESPN (@929espn) March 26, 2018
Whether that means this coming season is yet to be formally announced. Either way, this is pretty fun. The fanbases will likely appreciate the renewal of this state rivalry which has proceed some top quality matchups. None more so than the one that went down 10 years ago. That night, February 23, 2008, Tennessee and Memphis were ranked No. 2 and No. 1 in the country. The Vols get the better of the Tigers that night, winning 66-62.
We may not get to that point right away. Or even in a few years. But it’s clear that Memphis and Tennessee are set to play again. That, in itself, should be a blast.