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Alabama Crimson Tide at Kentucky Wildcats (2): Open Game Thread

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Welcome to A Sea of Blue's open game thread for the Alabama Crimson Tide at Kentucky Wildcats basketball game this afternoon in Rupp Arena. Game particulars are as follows:

Alabama @ Kentucky
Kentucky vs. Alabama
Sat., Jan. 21 - 12:00 p.m. ET
Rupp Arena
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | UA Get Acrobat Reader
Radio: UK IMG
CBS Sports Live Video
Live Audio
Text Updates

The Tide come into this game on a bit of a roll but not the kind a team wants to be on, having lost two SEC games in a row, one on the road to Mississippi St. and the other at home to the Vanderbilt Commodores. Now, Anthony Grant & Co. are faced with a challenge that is arguably far more difficult than either those efforts.

The Tide and 'Cats come into this game as the two best defensive teams in the conference by a wide margin. Both teams really get after you defensively, so we can look forward to a fairly modest and even slow pace with both teams working hard to get open shots.

For the Crimson Tide perspective on the game, be sure to check out our good friends at SB Nation's Alabama blog, Roll 'Bama Roll.

For Kentucky to succeed today, they must:

  1. Continue their excellent defensive rebounding. Kentucky has done a good job on the defensive glass in the last two games, and that needs to continue.

  2. Attack JaMychal Green. Alabama has a lot of good players, but Green is the most dangerous as both a scorer and rebounder. Like Kentucky with Anthony Davis, the Tide are a lot better with Green on the floor, and Green is somewhat foul-prone.

  3. Make open shots. Kentucky missed many open looks against the Arkansas Razorbacks. They can't do that against a strong defense like Alabama.

  4. Take care of the basketball. Alabama pressures constantly on defense, and turnovers account for a significant portion of their offense.

  5. Force Alabama to shoot threes. Alabama is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in America. If they make them, they will be tough to beat, but the Tide would much rather shoot twos than threes.

Make no mistake, this will be a tough game against a talented, defensive-minded team with a chip on their shoulder. They are well-coached and solid at every position, and their freshmen are very good. Kentucky must not only take this team seriously, they must actually play reasonably well to win, and probably must bring a B+ or better game to avoid an upset.

This is the toughest SEC test to date. The Wildcats must find a way to pass it.

Go, 'Cats!