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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Beat UCLA Bruins Edition

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Everything you want and need to get you ready for UK vs. UCLA. Plus, Stoops recruiting, Shai Alexander shines, and Mac Jones might flip back to the ‘Cats.

NCAA Basketball: Tenn-Martin at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday, Big Blue Nation! We have ourselves one helluva basketball game ahead of us. The #1 Kentucky Wildcats will host the #11 UCLA Bruins today in Rupp Arena at 12:30 PM.

The ‘Cats are a 9.5 point favorite and the over/under is an insane 171.5. It makes sense though since both teams love to get up and down and they both score a ton of points.

I like Kentucky in this game mainly because of their defense and the home crowd. But this is a big game personally for De’Aaron Fox as he goes face-to-face with Lonzo Ball, a point guard that right now is viewed as being better on the court and a better draft prospect. Fox and Malik Monk have a great deal of respect for Ball.

Mark Story from the Lexington Herald-Leader has his match-ups and his prediction for the game. Some of it I agree with and then some I don’t. Hint: I’m not taking anyone over Malik Monk right now.

And as always, check out the postgame show with me and Lachlan McClean on ESPN 680 in Louisville or check us out on iHeart Radio.

Tweet of the Day

Want to get pumped up? In case you missed it, here is the pre-game video of the Football ‘Cats right before they took the field against the Cards. Mark Stoops said it was the first time he didn’t have to make a speech before a game.

Mark Stoops has 14 recruits in the next class and is looking to add more. Here is a great breakdown from SEC Country about the current commits and the future of the 2017 class. Stoops is looking to head into this recruiting season with some momentum.

Speaking of recruiting, remember Mac Jones? He’s on Rivals list of players that might flip. And he may be a Wildcat in the end. Much depends on what Lane Kiffin does in the offseason.

Basketball commit Shai Alexander had a solid outing last night a the Marshall County Hoopfest. The 2017 guard finished the game with 21 points, six rebounds, two assists, and zero turnovers in a win. Cats Illustrated profiles him in a nice Q and A.

There will be 27 scouts from the NBA watching UK vs. UCLA today. That’s umm..... a lot. Kyle Tucker from SEC Country has a nice breakdown of the game.

Fast-paced battle of bluebloods in store Saturday -
Kentucky and UCLA rank eighth and 11th in raw tempo, playing 78.6 and 77.6 possessions per game, respectively. No Calipari team has ever played so fast and no UK team has scored 100 points in three straight games as this team has since 1977-78. The Bruins, meanwhile, have topped the century mark three times and scored 98 or more twice more themselves.

Why UCLA-Kentucky will be the most entertaining college hoops game all season | FOX Sports
What’s different about this game, though, isn’t just that Kentucky is good (it always is). Instead, it's that UCLA is one of the few teams that can virtually match the Wildcats player-for-player in the talent department.

Wildcats excited for Saturday’s ‘big stage’ -
"Yeah, every big stage I like," said freshman guard Malik Monk. "I think if you come to Kentucky you’re going to have to like the big stage. Every game is going to be just like this. You’re going to have to come out here ready to play."

Kentucky-UCLA a matchup of elite point guards - 247
Ball has been one of the nation’s top shooters from distance, making 47.4 percent of his three-point attempts while making more than two threes per game. Fox is no slouch himself coming off a triple-double. This is going to be a fun matchup to watch unfold.

Coach Cal Previews UCLA -
Watch as Kentucky head coach John Calipari met with the media Friday afternoon to preview No. 1 Kentucky’s showdown with No. 11 UCLA at Rupp Arena.

Kentucky basketball faces fast-paced game vs. UCLA | Lexington Herald-Leader
Saturday’s Kentucky-UCLA game excites the college basketball world. UCLA figures to challenge not only UK, but the notion that an opponent cannot out-run the Wildcats. As De’Aaron Fox directs, UK, so UCLA has a standout freshman point guard in Lonzo Ball.

Kentucky defensive line breakdown: Depth could again be issue for Wildcats - SEC Country
Kentucky will return all but Courtney Miggins on its defensive line. This unit needs to take a big step forward from its performance in 2016.

Kentucky football ready to host several top recruits this weekend | Lexington Herald-Leader
Mark Stoops and the rest of the UK football coaches will host several of the Wildcats’ top recruiting targets during a big weekend of official visits in Lexington. The Cats have 14 commitments for the 2017 class, and they’ll be looking to add to that number from this weekend’s guest list, which includes Lynn Bowden, Thayer Munford, Danny Davis, Joshua Paschal, Naasir Watkins, Lonnie Johnson and Leroy Henley.

Kentucky offensive line breakdown: Jon Toth will leave a hole in the middle - SEC Country
Kentucky's offensive line was one of the best in the SEC. Jon Toth was the mainstay in the middle, but he'll soon be playing in the NFL.

Keeneland's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes downgraded from Grade I to Grade II | Lexington Herald-Leader
The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association presented its annual listing of U.S. graded and listed stakes races for 2017.