The Wildcats’ loss at Auburn is still lingering on the minds of the BBN. The players must move on quickly or Mississippi State could sneak out of Rupp Arena with a win.
History dictates that the Bulldogs don’t stand a chance. John Calipari has never lost to Mississippi State. Since he arrived at Kentucky the Wildcats are 14-0 against their foes from Starkville, who last beat UK in February of 2009. Ben Howland has a 1-6 all-time record against the Cats. Howland’s only victory over Kentucky came in the 2006 Maui Invitational final when Aaron Afflalo, Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook were in the middle of three straight Final Four campaigns.
You can throw history out into the streets ahead of this matchup, thanks to Reggie Perry. A physical 6’9″ former McDonald’s All-American, Perry averages 17.2 points and an SEC-best 10 rebounds per game
“He’s an NBA player,” said UK associate coach Kenny Payne. “Big, strong, athletic. Can shoot it. Tough around the basket. Going to be a big challenge for our guys, especially when he’s at the four because he’s 6-9, 610. Again, athletic, great touch around the basket, can shoot jump shots, can beat you off the dribble, and he’s a great rebounder, so he’s a big part of what they’re doing and a big part of our success is how we handle him.”
The big man is bringing a post presence to Rupp Arena a game after Auburn owned UK on the glass, out-rebounding the Cats 42-28 (17-6 on the offensive end). If Nick Richards gets in early foul trouble it could be a long, late night at Rupp.
Vegas, TV, Radio
The Wildcats are 6.5-point favorites in Vegas with a total of 139. The loss to Auburn dropped UK’s record to 3-5 ATS in SEC play.
Jimmy Dykes is back in the Bluegrass, calling the game alongside Karl Ravech and Marty Smith. The game tips-off at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. If you would rather listen to The Voice of the Wildcats, you have multiple options.
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-84 and Sirius-84
- Online: iHeart Radio
Brooks, Sestina Prepare for Perry
A little help from the four-spot could go a long way tonight. E.J. Montgomery, Nate Sestina and Keion Brooks combined for only 6 points and 7 rebounds at Auburn. That’s gotta be better tonight and two of the three said as much Monday afternoon.
Today’s Tale of the Tape
The Bulldogs are Lunardi’s “first four out” in his current NCAA Tournament projection. Flirting with the bubble, a win at UK would be a significant addition to Miss. State’s postseason resume.
College Basketball on TV
- 7:00: #7 Duke at Boston College on ESPN
- 7:00: Rutgers at #9 Maryland on FS1
- 7:00: #11 Auburn at Arkansas on SECN
- 7:00: Ohio State at Michigan on ESPN2
- 8:00: #22 Penn State at #16 Michigan State on BTN
- 9:00: Xavier at DePaul on FS1
- 11:00: Air Force at Nevada on ESPN2
Butler Blue is the Best
I can’t get enough of this dog. I previously was indifferent about Butler’s basketball program. Gordon Hayward’s half-court shot at the end of the 2010 title could have changed my mind. Butler Blue IV is transforming me into a Bulldog fan.
Felt cute. Might delete later. ? pic.twitter.com/m5H7ZQOmHp
— Butler Blue IV (@TheButlerBlue) January 31, 2020
Big Derby News
The turbulent 2019 Kentucky Derby was the first to feature a disqualification. For folks inside the horse racing industry, the rough and tumble ride was to be expected in such a large field. Some called for Churchill Downs to downsize the pool of racers. Instead, Churchill decided to finally invest in a 20-horse gate, limiting the initial contact by horses from the auxiliary gate. Will it make a significant difference? Probably not, but it’ll be a nice story in the first week of May and allow Churchill to say, ‘Hey, we’re trying to make it safer. Look at the new gate!”
National Signing Day is Tomorrow
Can you believe it? What used to be the biggest day in football recruiting has snuck up on us, thanks to the Early Signing Period. Kentucky still could add a couple of players tomorrow. I’ll have a complete preview later today.
Logan Stenberg is on KSR
The future NFL Draft Pick is joining the KSR crew to talk about his career at the University of Kentucky. Along with the football talk and basketball preview, Matt Jones will share an Iowa caucus update just hours after Shannon The Dude submitted his official endorsement.