Are you ready for a shootout? When Kentucky tips-off its third game of SEC play at Noon on ESPN, they’ll face one of the highest-scoring teams in college basketball.
Alabama ranks second in the nation in scoring, trailing only Gonzaga by racking up 84.4 points per game. Ranked 30th in KenPom’s offensive efficiency rating, they’ve scored at least 90 points in their last five games and surpassed the 100-point threshold twice. A significant portion of their points come from behind the three-point line. On average they attempt 29.9 threes (sixth nationally) and make 11.1 from long range (#2 in CBB) a game.
“They’re going to shoot 35 threes. If they make 16, 16, 15, 18, we’ll move on to the next game,” John Calipari said Friday afternoon. “It’s hard, that’d be a lot for us to stop. Again, we need to make six or seven because they’re probably going to hook seven in.”
The player UK cannot leave open behind the three-point line is John Petty, the Crimson Tide’s leading scorer that is knocking down more than 50 percent of his attempts from long range. West Virginia transfer and former Covington Holmes star Beetle Bolden is shooting 40 percent from three. Kira Lewis is their lead distributor, carving up defenses to find an open man or finish near the rim to score more than 16 points a game.
Alabama’s 8-6 record isn’t intimidating, but they’re built to get hot and give UK trouble at Rupp Arena. Kentucky can’t start the game sleepwalking or it could be a long day at Rupp Arena.
Not the First Duel with Nate Oats
Before taking his talents to Tuscaloosa, Oats succeeded Bobby Hurley at Buffalo. In 2017 they upset Arizona in the NCAA Tournament, setting up a second round matchup with the Wildcats in Boise. Oats shared a few choice words for Coach Cal leading into the game.
“Calipari’s been whining about no experience — young, young, young,” Oats said. “Well, we don’t have that problem. We got some veteran guys.”
Those veteran guys got their teeth kicked in by Hamidou Diallo (22 points) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (27) as the Cats rolled to a 20-point victory.
KSBar and Grille Opens Early
The early tip-off means it’s brunch time in the Bluegrass. KSBar’s doors will open at 9 a.m. ET, serving delicious chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy and other breakfast delicacies. Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond and Drew Franklin will be there for the KSR Pregame Show beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET.
If you think the party is over once the game is over, you’re wrong. We’ll be getting rowdy all night long, capped off with playoff action between Drew Franklin’s Tennessee Titans and Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens.
That isn’t the only playoff game today. The 49ers host the Minnesota Vikings at 4:35 p.m. ET on NBC.
Vegas, TV, Radio
The Wildcats are 8.5-point favorites in the desert with a total of 153.
Tired of Jay Bilas? Then I got some bad news for you. After calling the Cats’ win at Georgia, the Bilastrator will be at Rupp Arena with Dan Shulman for the call on ESPN. If you would rather put it on mute and listen to The Voice of the Wildcats, you have multiple options.
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-191 and Sirius-136
- Online: iHeart Radio
Greg Brown is in the House
The No. 1 power forward in America will be at Rupp Arena to watch the Cats battle the Crimson Tide. Ranked No. 8 overall by 247 Sports, his official visit to Kentucky is on the heels of a road trip to Memphis where he saw the Tigers fall to Georgia. An Austin native, the Texas Longhorns are the perceived favorite for the highest-ranked uncommitted big man.
Today’s Tale of the Tape
College Basketball on TV
- Noon: Georgia at #5 Auburn on ESPNEWS
- Noon: #11 Ohio State at Indiana on Fox
- 12:30: UMass at #15 Dayton on NBCSN
- 1:00: #4 Baylor at #3 Kansas on CBS
- 2:00: #13 Louisville at Notre Dame on ESPN
- 2:00: Creighton at Xavier on Fox
- 2:15: Wisconsin at #20 Penn State on BTN
- 4:00: Syracuse at #18 Virginia on ESPN
- 6:00: #22 Texas Tech at #17 West Virginia on ESPN
- 6:00: Arkansas at Ole Miss on SECN
- 6:00: WKU at Middle Tennessee on CBSSN
- 8:00: Oklahoma at Iowa State on ESPN2
UK Wins on Excite Night
More than 11,000 people filled Rupp Arena to watch a spectacle put on by the UK gymnastics team. The tenth-ranked Wildcats defeated No. 8 Missouri by doing stuff like this:
? Let’s see that 9??.9??2??5?? again. ? pic.twitter.com/9mwWYU9qRT
— Kentucky Gymnastics (@UKGymnastics) January 10, 2020
How is that even possible? Humans aren’t meant to flip through the air like that. Wow.
Priests don’t just pray. At Coving Catholic, they get buckets.
— Cov Cath (@CovCathBball) January 11, 2020