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South Carolina Gamecocks at Kentucky Wildcats - Live Game Thread

South Carolina has an upset on their minds as they travel to legendary Rupp Arena to face the undefeated Wildcats.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks have one mission in Rupp Arena today — stop the Kentucky Wildcats’ march to 25 straight wins, dash their undefeated season dreams, and take back the biggest upset of the college basketball season to their fans in Columbia. It’s a fine objective, but it’s accomplishment will be opposed.

Kentucky has had some very tough games lately, all of them on the road, and all of them against opponents that have better records than the Gamecocks. In addition, the Gamecocks have been historically futile in Lexington, where they have taken only two victories from Kentucky since their first game in 1928 at the Southern Conference Tournament in Atlanta.

Essentials for victory

  • Take care of the ball — Turnovers provide a path for USC to challenge Kentucky. I don’t think the Gamecocks can win unless they turn UK over 20%+ times.

  • Rebound — South Carolina is a poor shooting team, but a good rebounding team. If UK lets them get a lot of offensive rebounds, their efficiency will increase significantly.

  • Guard in transition — Kentucky has done a relatively poor job in defensive transition the last two games. Kentucky must keep the Gamecocks in the half-court, where they must fight through the peerless Kentucky defense.

  • Don’t back off — If UK gets a big lead, they need to make it a huge lead. This is not the time to take it easy on anybody. No quarter will be expected, and none should be given until the game is beyond doubt.

  • Attack the rim — The Gamecocks foul a lot, and UK must make it easy for them to foul. They must also make their free throws.

This is not a likely place for an upset, but you can never take any SEC team for granted, and Frank Martin will have this team ready, willing and able to fight from tip to horn for a big, season-defining upset. Kentucky has to show them early and often that this is impossible.

Go, ‘Cats!