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Kentucky Wildcats (15) @ Alabama Crimson Tide: Open Game Thread

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The Kentucky Wildcats and Alabama Crimson Tide tip it off today at 1:00 pm in the Georgia Dome for the first semifinal of the 2011 SEC Tournament.

Game details as follows, courtesy of

Kentucky @ Alabama
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Sat., Mar. 12, 1:00 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: ABC
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio
Text Updates
Location Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Ga.

To get to this game, both teams have had to overcome tough, determined opponents, and you can bet that both teams are feeling the effects of their respective wars with the Georgia Bulldogs (Alabama) and the Mississippi Rebels (Kentucky) today.

For the Alabama perspective on today's game, be sure to visit Roll Bama Roll, SBNation's outstanding Crimson Tide blog, and good blog-buddy of A Sea of Blue.

Keys to a Wildcat victory:

  • Shoot the ball well. Kentucky shot very poorly yesterday, and eked out a win. If they shoot that badly again today, it will be even harder.
  • Be tough, but don't foul. The Wildcats got into a strongman contest with the Rebels yesterday, and was on the verge of fouling out half the Kentucky team. Kentucky needs to understand their quality depth issues if they are to do well in the post season.
  • Force the Tide to shoot outside. Hey, that rhymes! Alabama is not a good outside shooting team, so the Wildcats figure to try to get them to shoot that shot rather than layups inside.
  • Attack Alabama early. Just like the Rebels, Alabama's defense is most vulnerable early in the clock after an unsuccessful possession. UK must take advantage of early offense.
  • Rebound every missed Alabama shot. Alabama is the best offensive rebounding team in the league, and giving them extra shots is a losing proposition.

Keys to an Alabama victory:

  • Get Kentucky in foul trouble, particularly Josh Harrellson and Terrence Jones.
  • Attack the basket relentlessly.
  • Make open jump shots. Alabama cannot count on getting good looks inside all day.
  • Take care of the ball. Alabama turned the ball over liberally in Tuscaloosa (almost 30%) and only poor shooting by Kentucky saved them from a comeback loss. They are not likely to be so lucky today if they are as generous sharing the ball with the opponent.

The road to the #3 seed begins today, with this win. Kentucky has locked up the four, but the three is only in reach if the Wildcats advance.

Go 'Cats!