Missouri Tigers at Kentucky Wildcats: Live Game Thread

Kentucky welcomes Missouri to Rupp Arena for the first time as SEC members.

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So "they" say that this is a must-win, that the Kentucky Wildcats cannot afford to lose at home to the Missouri Tigers and get into the NCAA Tournament.

What do "they" know, anyway? But a win here would be really, really big.

Game particulars as follows, courtesy of UKAthletics.com:

Gameday
Gameday Information
Kentucky vs. Missouri
Weds., Feb. 20 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | MU Get Acrobat Reader
Coverage
Gameday Live: Online audio, blog and stats
TV: ESPN
Radio: UK IMG
Text Updates

To win tonight, the Wildcats need to:

  • Keep the Tigers off the offensive boards. Mizzou is a very good offensive rebounding team, and an excellent rebounding team overall. Kentucky must at least keep them under their average on the offensive glass.

  • Force Phil Pressey to shoot the ball. The more he shoots, the better chance we have. Not layups, mind you, but threes and tough floaters.

  • Attack the rim and get to the free throw line. I hesitate to say this, but it’s one reason Kentucky is tough. The problem is, they can easily overdo this and fly recklessly into the defense, drawing charges instead of fouls.

  • Be confident. When Kentucky is confident, they are good, particularly offensively.

  • Out-hustle the Tigers. When Kentucky wins the 50/50 balls, they usually win the game.

  • Take care of the basketball. When Kentucky does not turn it over, they are usually right there in the game.

  • Play the game. Kentucky often over-thinks basketball, and it works against them. Just play hard, make the easy pass, and they will have a chance.

Missouri is a better team on paper than this version of the Wildcats, and so despite what the line is, Kentucky is going to have to play a quality game to defeat Missouri. Forget that Mizzou has not won on the road mucn – right now, consider them due.

If Kentucky is up for this game and can keep their heads about them, they will win. If not, they will lose.

Go, ’Cats.

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