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Kentucky Wildcats @ Vanderbilt Commodores: Open Game Thread

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Tonight, the Kentucky Wildcats visit the home of arguably the biggest home-court advantage in the SEC and one of the biggest in all of college basketball -- Memorial Gymnasium, home of the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Kentucky comes into this game exactly one game ahead of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Game particulars are as follows:

Date & Time Sat., Feb. 20, 6:00 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio listen
Live Video via ESPN360
Location Memorial Gym
Nashville, Tenn.

This is one of the very few times this year that UK has had to get a truly top-quality win on the road. Tonight's game could foreshadow how Kentucky will do in the tournament, because this game will have many of the qualities of an NCAA tournament game -- a highly motivated and talented opponent with a lot at stake. What is different is a highly partisan opposing crowd that will be a factor in this game.

More following the jump.

What UK needs to do to win:

  • Keep DeMarcus Cousins out of foul trouble.
  • Ignore the crowd and the odd arrangement of the benches and play the game.
  • Try to get Ogilvy in foul trouble.
  • Defend the perimeter shot.

What UK can do to lose:

  • Allow Vanderbilt to win the battle of the boards, particularly the offensive glass.
  • Take too many chances on defense. UK must stay home and force Vandy to put the ball on the floor.
  • Shoot poorly from the free throw line.
  • Fail to take advantage of their inside strength.

This is a tough spot for the 'Cats. Vandy is really motivated, most of the 'Cats have no idea what they are coming into at Vandy, and this Vanderbilt team is as good as any team Kentucky will play in the SEC all year. It will take a top effort from Kentucky to win this game.

Go, 'Cats!