As Cajun Country gears top for the biggest party of the year, Kentucky will try to silence Will Wade’s squad. Tip-off at Pete Maravich Assembly Center is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Just like the last meeting between these two teams, this matchup carries significant weight in the race for the SEC Regular Season Title. As of today Kentucky sits alone atop the SEC standings, one game ahead of LSU and Auburn. A UK win would hand the Tigers their fourth SEC loss and give the Wildcats a tiebreaker with only handful of games remaining.
Once in cruise control, undefeated in SEC play, Vanderbilt completely derailed the Tigers’ season. Since their 99-90 loss in Nashville, they’ve lost three of their last four games. Even through their struggles, LSU is still scoring, posting at least 82 points in each outing.
“They’ve got five guys starting that are not just averaging 10 points; they are averaging significant double figures,” said UK assistant Ton Barbee.
“They’re a fantastic rebounding team on the offensive end of the floor. They have traditionally been, since Will (Wade) has been there, they will shoot it and then go get it. They shoot the 3. They drive the ball. They’ve got a couple guys that can post up. (Trendon) Watford is a matchup problem at the three. It’s the reason why they are a fantastic offensive team. They have a lot of interchangeable parts and can do a lot of different things.”
Can the Wildcats’ defense put the clamps on the Tigers, or will UK have to rely on its offense to outscore LSU and end the late-night party in Baton Rouge? Mrs. Tyler Thompson will be there for KSR to watch it all unfold.
“There’s a different energy when Kentucky is in the building.”
Next stop: Baton Rouge pic.twitter.com/WbNUm5t83v
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 17, 2020
Kentucky fans are familiar with the surname Watford. ‘The Wat Shot’ is the single greatest moment in the history of Indiana basketball. Christian Watford is so beloved by Hoosiers, his brother wanted nothing to do with them, choosing to play for LSU instead.
The eighteenth-ranked recruit in the 2019 recruiting class has played like it this season. The 6’9″ forward averages 13.9 points and seven rebounds a game. To put it plainly, he is the perfect player to exploit Kentucky’s weaknesses at the four. E.J. Montgomery must be incredibly active on the perimeter and consistently put a body on the athlete that will attack the offensive glass for second chance points.
Keion Brooks and Nate Sestina discussed the importance of rebounding against a physical Tiger team.
Vegas, TV, Radio
The Wildcats opened as 2-point underdogs over at LSU with a total of 151. Kentucky is 5-2 ATS in true road games.
Jay Bilas is tagging out Jimmy Dykes to call the game for ESPN alongside Karl Ravech and Marty Smith. If you prefer to listen on the radio, you can hear the Voice of the Wildcats on a few different platforms.
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-190 and Sirius-211
- Online: iHeart Radio
College Basketball on TV
- 5:00: St. Francis at Long Island on ESPNU
- 6:30: Illinois at #9 Penn State on FS1
- 6:30: Davidson at St. Joseph’s on CBSSN
- 6:30: Vanderbilt at Tennessee on SECN
- 7:00: Purdue at Wisconsin on ESPN
- 7:00: Oklahoma State at #17 West Virginia on ESPN2
- 7:00: Arkansas at Florida on ESPNU
- 8:00: Northwestern at #7 Maryland on BTN
- 8:00: Pitt at #8 Florida State on ACCN
- 8:30: #15 Creighton at #19 Marquette at FS1
- 8:30: #5 Dayton at VCU on CBSSN
- 9:00: #1 Baylor at Oklahoma on ESPN2
UK Baseball Opens 15-Game Homestand
Kentucky’s baseball team will try to get off the snide this afternoon against OVC-foe Southeast Missouri State. The Bat Cats were winless opening weekend, dropping all three games to TCU by a combined score of 22-7. The first pitch of the season at Kentucky Proud Park will be thrown at 4 p.m. ET and can be seen on SECN+.
A Bad Day for Brad Cox
The horse trainer’s Derby Prep season got flipped upside down Monday at Oaklawn. In the featured Grade 3 Southwest Stakes he had two horses battling for first around the final turn, only for Ricardo Santana to ride Steve Asmussen’s Silver Prospector to a win by a length. Earlier that day in Arkansas, Cox’s stakes-winning filly Taraz, the early Kentucky Oaks favorite that could have made a run at the Derby, suffered a catastrophic injury during training and was euthanized. When it rains, it pours.
A Wild Finish at Daytona
Delayed one day by rain, the Daytona 500 had a dangerous finish. With three cars fighting to reach the finish line first, Ryan Newman spun out of control. A horrific crash, the sporting world was on pins and needles for hours waiting for an update. After Newman was transported to the hospital, Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement, “He’s in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are non life threatening.”
Tragedy averted, Denny Hamlin raced past Ryan Blaney to become the first repeat winner of the Dayton 500 since Sterling Marlin in 1994-95. It was the second-closest margin of victory in race history. Hamlin has a Kentucky connection. His crew chief is Louisville St. X grad Chris Gabeheart.
KSR in One Hour
If you miss the gang at 10 a.m., they’ll be back on the 630 WLAP airwaves for the KSR Pregame Show at 6:30 p.m. ET.