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 KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - This isn't quite the way either Tennessee or Virginia expected to close out the calendar year.
Both teams opened the season with expectations of reaching the NCAA tournament after playing in the NIT last year. But after getting off to slower-than-anticipated starts, Virginia and Tennessee head into Monday's matchup seeking to boost their postseason credentials.
Virginia opened the season ranked 24th, the first time the Cavaliers appeared in a preseason Top 25 since 2001-02. Tennessee was the first team listed in the ''also receiving votes'' section of the preseason Top 25.
They've struggled to live up to that billing so far.
Tennessee (7-4) won just six of its first 10 games. Virginia (9-3) lost back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Green Bay earlier this month.

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