Arkansas and Vanderbilt will tip off at 7:30 in the second round of the SEC tournament tonight, with the winner advancing to face your University of Kentucky Wildcats in the 7:30 game Friday night.
Kentucky needs a win in the third round game to feel comfortable with its NCAA tournament chances, which raises the question: Which team would you rather face?
The Case For Arkansas
The Cats were disappointed with the performance they gave in Fayetteville just two weeks ago, so they’re hungry to wash that bitter taste out of their mouths from the game they expected to win. Archie Goodwin would love a second chance at his home state school.
The Case Against Arkansas
Arkansas puts a lot of pressure on opposing guards with its 40 Minutes of Hell, and guard play has been Kentucky’s weakness at times throughout the season. Even if Kentucky were to step up and handle the pressure well, the Razorbacks’ aggression would still wear the UK players down heading into a difficult Saturday afternoon game against the Missouri/Ole Miss winner.
The Case For Vanderbilt
Outside of Kedren Johnson, there aren’t any players on Vanderbilt’s roster that could cause a lot of problems for Kentucky. He’s averaging 18 points in two games against UK this season and the Commodores will rely on him heavily. Contain Johnson and advancing to Saturday shouldn’t be a problem.
Also, a Vanderbilt win tonight pushes Arkansas off the bubble and removes the risk of Kentucky losing two games to the Razorbacks, which would hurt UK’s tournament resume when comparing the two teams.
The Case Against Vanderbilt
Kentucky’s two wins over Vanderbilt this season were in close games, so Kevin Stallings’ squad has show it can compete with the Wildcats. And let’s not forget, Kentucky won the two regular season games last season before the Commodores upset UK in the tournament’s championship game.
Who To Root For
Let’s take our chances with that third game.