Tennessee didn't struggle with a horribly injured Mississippi State team that wasn't much good before all their injuries, taking a 16-point lead at the half and holding on for a 69-53 win.
The Volunteers went on 12-0 and 14-2 runs in the first half, and from then on, there wasn't much to worry about. At one point, Mississippi State cut the lead to nine, but Tennessee immediately ran off four straight to end any hope of the Bulldogs advancing. Jordan McRae led the Vols with 17, while Trae Golden had 15 and Quinton Cheivous had the first double-digit performance of his career.
Mississippi State had already lost Jalen Steele, Andre Applewhite, Jacoby Davis, and Wendell Lewis to season-ending injuries, but won the 12-13 matchup over South Carolina. They had to play walk-ons Tyson Cunningham and Baxter Price against Tennessee, with neither recording a point. They shot just 34.5 percent, with only 3-of-14 threes connecting.
Next up for Tennessee is Alabama, a team that might need a win in order to make the NCAA Tournament.