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Kentucky Wildcats (2) at Kansas Jayhawks (12) -- Champions Classic Open Game Thread

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Welcome to the official open game thread for the Kentucky Wildcats @ Kansas Jayhawks in the Champions Classic, game 2. Game particulars as follows, courtesy of

Kentucky @ Kansas (Neutral)
Kentucky vs. Kansas
Champions Classic
Tues., Nov. 15 - 9:00 p.m. ET
New York, N.Y.
Madison Square Garden
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | Kansas Get Acrobat Reader
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via ESPN3
Live Audio
Text Updates

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation -- the first real test of the 2011-2012 basketball season for the Kentucky Wildcats. The Kansas Jayhawks are another blue-blood, perennially great program worthy of the most storied basketball team in the nation. This is the kind of game Kentucky fans live for.

Kansas is a huge step up from what the Wildcats have played so far, but the converse is also true. Both teams have proven their chops against significantly inferior competition. It is now time to put the boys to bed, and get in there with the men.

What Kentucky needs to do to win:

  1. Exploit mismatches. Anthony Davis is an impossible mismatch from anywhere on the court. Terrence Jones is almost as tough. Darius Miller at the 2 is a nightmare. These guys have got to be involved early and often.
  2. Defensive intensity. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will bring it. Will the rest of the Wildcats? The answer to this question may well determine the outcome.
  3. Attack the rim. Kansas is not as long or as flexible as Kentucky. The Wildcats must exploit their length on defense and offense.
  4. Keep Teague on the floor. Marquis Teague is the most precious commodity on the Wildcat team, and he has to understand that. If he gets the cheap fouls he got versus Marist, this game could get close, and if it gets close, Kansas' experience becomes a major, major factor.
  5. Run. If Kentucky can get this game at a high pace, Kansas will fold like a house of cards. They are neither deep enough nor athletic enough to keep up with the UK bigs in transition, and if UK can run, they will dunk a lot.

Kentucky has a lot of advantages in this game, but they must exploit their strengths and defend well. That's going to be hard, especially given the fact that Teague is the weak link, and Kansas will no doubt attack that weakness. Lamb and even Polson are going to have to step up and give valuable minutes to Teague and keep him out of foul difficulty.

That's it. Let's go. It's time for Kentucky basketball!

Go, 'Cats!