How Kentucky beats Kansas and predictions for Saturday’s SEC/Big twelve Challenge

The No. 12-ranked Kentucky Wildcats can visit Allen Fieldhouse to face the No. five Kansas Jayhawks on weekday (6 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN app) in an exceedingly Sonic Blockbuster match-up that may conjointly function the premier match-up of the day’s SEC/Big twelve Challenge. Seven prime 25-ranked groups, quite a dozen that seem within the latest version of ESPN’s Bracketology, and ten coaches World Health Organization are to the ultimate Four are going to be a locality of the day’s proceedings.

With than in mind, ESPN’s faculty squad of Myron Medcalf, Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway and Joe Lunardi created their predictions for UK at kurchatovium, sized up the opposite games they’re going to have a watch on and assessed the coaches across the 2 leagues World Health Organization have done the simplest jobs in 2021-22.

How stunned would you be to visualize Kentucky move into Allen Fieldhouse and beat favored Kansas on weekday (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN app)? however may it happen, and what would that result say concerning the Wildcats, and also the Jayhawks?

Medcalf: I will not be surprised if Kentucky goes to Lawrence at full strength and wins. however i’d be slightly stunned if the Wildcats complete that exploit while not TyTy Washington son. he is a major contributor for that squad and his impact was obvious once Kentucky lost a healthy lead in last weekend’s loss at chromatic . With Washington on the ground this season, Kentucky has scored one hundred fifteen points per one hundred possessions, command opponents to eighty five points per one hundred possessions and created four-hundredth of its 3-point makes an attempt. Those numbers drop to 103 points per one hundred possessions, ninety points per one hundred possessions and a twenty five.5% clip from on the far side the arc once he is sidelined, per Kentucky remains a extremely smart team while not the freshman star, however it’d would like him to induce this win, even as they most likely required him to beat chromatic .

I don’t assume Kentucky should win in some mysterious approach. i feel the No. one offensive rebounding team within the country should do what it’s tired SEC play and take advantage of second-chance opportunities. Kentucky isn’t any. one in SEC play with a thirty seventh clip from the 3-point line and also the Wildcats have created seventy four of their shots at the rim, per hoop-math. i do not assume any team in America will stall Ochai Agbaji, World Health Organization would possibly win the picket Award. however David McCormack finished 3-for-9 in KU’s 2 losses. i feel the accolade Tshiebwe-McCormack match-up is that the most important one during this game. Limiting McCormack changes Kansas and puts additional pressure on its wings. i do not assume the result would tell USA a great deal at this time, unless it’s associate degree unlikely lopsided win for either team. quite something, i feel we have a tendency to’ll go forth feeling as if we simply watched a possible Final Four match-up.

Borzello: It would not shock ME in the slightest degree. Kansas has continuing to search out ways that to eke out wins in recent weeks, with 3 straight victories by 3 points from each one — and a one-point convince Iowa State earlier this month. which game against the Cyclones, still because the double-overtime convince Texas school on weekday, were each at Phog Allen. albeit it’s late January, it feels like Kansas remains trying to find its best rotation. Agbaji is unimaginable, however he and Christian Braun are the sole constants. the 2 keys area unit McCormack and Remy Martin. McCormack merely has to be additional consistent. evaluation nineteen one game and one purpose consequent is not about to compass done. Martin should be totally healthy and be the team’s catalyst obnoxiously.

For Kentucky to tug off the upset, the Wildcats ought to avoid the off-the-wall injury bug that bit their backcourt against LSU and chromatic this month. A healthy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler ought to get on the court for John Calipari. With those 2 on the ground, Kentucky is ready to push the tempo obnoxiously, produce possibilities in transition and play sharply off the bounce within the [*fr1] court. With those 2 assaultive, Kellan Grady creating shots from the perimeter and Tshiebwe dominating within at each ends, Kentucky is at its best. I’ve thought Kentucky could be a legitimate national title threat, however it’d solely have one win to date over associate degree NCAA tournament team (Tennessee).