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North Carolina at Kentucky -- Open Game Thread

This is the official Open Game Thread for North Carolina at Kentucky.

This is always a huge game for Kentucky, and this year is no different.  Both UNC and Kentucky have young teams, but Kentucky does have the advantage of senior leadership, and the Heels do not.  However, Carolina has a more talented and much deeper team than UK.

The Fake Gimel Martinez will be assisting me with the live blog this afternoon, and we will be using the Coverit Live liveblogging tool again.  Of course, you can always leave comments in this thread if you prefer, we will be checking them from time to time.

My keys to the game:

  • Bradley and Crawford must return to form
  • Patterson must continue his stellar play and avoid foul trouble
  • Somebody must guard Deon Thompson.
  • We will need production out of Stephenson and Stewart
  • A third guard (Legion?) must step up and give us some scoring.

This game could jump start the Cats' season, or it could drive them deeper into the doldrums.  Patrick Patterson believes Kentucky can win this game, and I do as well.  UNC is not playing particularly good defense right now, and Ty Lawson is likely to be at less than 100%, if he plays at all.  That's huge, because Lawson is simply too quick for Bradley to guard.

This game will give us a very good idea of how far the Cats have come since the loss to Gardner-Webb, and what the Cats' prospects for victory will be in the future, at least until some of the injured players return.

Enjoy the game, I'll be opening the liveblog about 10 minutes before tipoff.

GO, CATS!

Note: Transcript of the liveblog below the fold.