It's rivalry time as 5-2 Indiana comes to Rupp Arena to face the 5-3 Wildcats. While the two teams come into the game both unranked for just the third time in series history, the need for a win on both sides is huge, so there's little doubt the two will be ready to go.
Frankly, both teams are better than their records suggest. Indiana gave Duke all it could handle on the road, and its other loss is to Butler, which, in retrospect, is hardly an upset. Kentucky has three losses, but all to top-15 teams, including two of the top three (UNC, UCLA).
This will be the first game for new coach Kelvin Sampson at Rupp, and his first rivalry game since taking the job this summer.
Kentucky's boys are hoping to continue its baby steps development on the season. First they worked on the rocky offense, then on the porous defense, then on offense again. Now, it's turnovers.
The Cats also have revenge in their minds after a historic ass whoopin' at IU's hands last season that played a big part in sinking the shaky Cats' season.
What to look for:
* And they're off!: UK is trying hard to start the game stronger and avoid the shooting slumps and offensive breakdowns that can cause 25-point halves. Playing against a Sampson-coached team doesn't help that much, as defense is as much his calling card as it is Tubby's. Who will break out of the gates first?
* Misters Big: Randolph Morris vs. DJ White. The matchup of the marquee big men should be outstanding. White is still trying to shake off the rust a bit from missing the bulk of last season. Morris has outplayed Tyler Hansbrough already this year and is rising up the ranks of collegiate centers. Another TV game could offer him another shot at generating the buzz.
* Rupp's Ghost: Unlike in recent years past, the IU game is at Rupp Arena. While much is made of the 'blue hairs' and their penchant for quiet enjoyment of a good Wright State game, Rupp can get loud for big tilts against rivals. It's all the more reason for the Cats to start well.
Probable starting lineups
SG -- Ramel Bradley, Jr., Brooklyn, NY
3G -- Joe Crawford, Jr., Detroit, MI
PG -- Derrick Jasper, Fr., Paso Robles, CA
SF -- Bobby Perry, Sr., Durham, NC
C -- Randolph Morris, Jr., Atlanta, GA
F Perry Stevenson, F Sheray Thomas, C Lukasz Obrzut, G Jodie Meeks, G Michael Porter
PG -- Earl Calloway, Jr., 3.9 assists
SG -- Armon Bassett, Fr.
G -- A.J. Ratliff, Sr., 9 ppg
SF -- Lance Stemler, Jr., 2006 JUCO All-American
F -- D.J. White, Jr., Scoring & rebounding leader
Follow the game: LIVE Stats