The Kentucky Wildcats are once again peaking as postseason play begins.
Their first test came in the SEC Quarterfinals against an Alabama team fighting for their NCAA lives, but even that extra edge wasn't enough to stop the Cats from rolling past them to the Semifinal Round. Thanks to 20 points from Alex Poythress and 23 from Jamal Murray, UK cruised to an 85-59 win and have now beaten Alabama three times this season.
Playing about 50 miles southeast of his Clarksville (TN) home, Alex put on a show in his final SEC Tournament with 7-of-8 shooting including 4-of-5 from deep to record his third 20-point game this season and first since posting a career-best 25 at Alabama on Jan. 9.
Up next for UK is another bubble team in Georgia. The Bulldogs are coming off a thrilling win over South Carolina. It was their second win in as many days after edging Mississippi State on Thursday. The Dawgs are still likely on the outside looking in of the NCAA Tournament, but a win over Kentucky could be enough to propel them into the Big Dance.
Here is everything you'll need to watch and follow the Cats and the Bulldogs face off.
Kentucky Wildcats (24-8, 14-5 in SEC) vs Georgia Bulldogs (19-12, 12-8 in SEC)
When: March 12, 2016
Game Time: Around 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
Online Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: UK Radio Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt (info and affiliates)
Odds: UK opened as a 12-point favorite, per Vegas Insider.
Projected UGA Starters
#30 G - J.J. Frazier, 5-10, 155 lbs, Jr.
#12 G - Kenny Gaines, 6-3, 205 lbs, Sr.
#4 G - Charles Mann, 6-5, 215 lbs, Sr.
#25 F - Kenny Paul Geno, 6-6, 210 lbs. Jr.
#1 F - Yante Maten, 6-8, 240 lbs, So.
Projected UK Starters
#3 G - Tyler Ulis, 5-9, 160, So.
#13 G - Isaiah Briscoe, 6-3, 202, Fr.
#23 G - Jamal Murray, 6-4, 207, Fr.
#35 F - Derek Willis, 6-9, 220, Jr.
#22 F - Alex Poythress, 6-8, 230 lbs, Sr.
Prediction: The Cats are playing at another level right now that no one in the SEC can match. This is a game they have no business losing in what is really the final day of UK gets to make its case for a better seed in the Big Dance.
The selection committee has routinely not factored in the SEC Championship results with it coming just hours before the final bracket is revealed, meaning this is likely the last image they'll have of the Cats before deciding their NCAA fate.
John Calipari has his Cats playing with kind of urgency, confidence and heart they need to keep pushing towards their ultimate goal, and I don't see them slipping up here. The Bulldogs will be another team fighting for their NCAA lives, but the Cats score another big win.
Final Score: Kentucky 74, Georgia 61