Want some predictions for today’s throwdown in Chitown? Here you go:
UCLA vs. No. 1 Kentucky (United Center in Chicago), 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, CBS: The Bruins aren’t bad. In some ways, they’ve surpassed expectations. Who thought Bryce Alford would evolve into an all-Pac-12ish point guard for Steve Alford? Norman Powell is one of the best all-around players in the country. Kevon Looney is a pro. But they’re not capable of solving the Kentucky problem that might perplex every opponent the Wildcats face this season. It’s a broken record, I know, but if you’re dealing with a shot-blocking crew that protects the space within the arc better than any team in America and throws multiple 6-foot-10-and-up future pros at you on offense, how can you stop that over 40 minutes? UCLA won’t have that answer during this CBS Sports Classic matchup.
Prediction: Kentucky 80, UCLA 60
Pick: Not sure the Bruins have a great matchup here. They’re awfully reliant on Bryce Alford offensively, and it seems likely that he’ll be swallowed up by Kentucky’s the size and length. Also, depth will be a serious concern for the Bruins against a team that goes at least nine, possibly 11 deep, with little drop-off in skill. Kentucky wins its 12th straight game by double-digits.
UCLA vs. No. 1 Kentucky, Sat. 3:30 p.m.: I’m not convinced that UCLA is all that good this season. In fact, I think there’s a chance that they’re an NIT team. They do have some athletes on the wing, but we’ll see how Bryce Alford is able to deal with the Kentucky pressure.
If you’re looking to contrast basketball dynasties, how Kentucky and UCLA are flying to Chicago for Saturday’s game is one place to start.
UK chartered a flight with Miami Air International, which services professional teams, U.S. military and governmental agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
UCLA flew commercially. Message: With UCLA, oh how the mighty have fallen. Meanwhile, Kentucky is soaring higher than ever.
Kentucky beat EKU by 33. EKU beat Miami by 28. Miami beat Florida by 2. Therefore by the transitive property we should beat Florida by a good sixty points. Seriously though, the win is EKU’s first over a top 25 team so congrats to Coach Neubauer and his team from Richmond.