Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt score: No. 1 Volunteers survive OT road battle with Commodores

Being ranked No. 1 in the country comes replete with its own unique challenges -- like playing with a Tennessee-sized target on your back.

The top-ranked Vols learned firsthand just how difficult it is being top dog on Wednesday night. They were pushed to the brink of a loss in Nashville after earning the No. 1 ranking for just the second time in program history this week. But on the strength of a stellar performance from Grant Williams, the Vols outlasted Vanderbilt 88-83 to remain flawless in SEC play.

The story of Tennessee surviving a tough road test and defending its standing at No. 1 is an important one, of course. But the most prevalent one coming out of that survival was its star, Grant Williams, who may have played the most flawless game we'll see from a college basketball player all season: 15 shots. 43 points. 23 of 23 from the free throw line.

23 of 23!

It's the best mark from the free throw line at the NCAA level since 1959, when Oklahoma State's Arlen Clark went 24 of 24 from the charity stripe. It also overshadows what Murray State's Ja Morant did this past weekend, when he went 21 of 21 from the foul line and scored 40 points.

Escape job be damned, Tennessee's on an absolute tear. The win over Vandy is its 13th straight dating back to November, which puts them at 17-1 on the season and 6-0 in SEC play.

The Volunteers play West Virginia on Saturday as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge and, barring an upset, will likely find themselves atop the polls again come Monday.

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