clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Glance: Kentucky vs North Carolina

A huge test for Kentucky against a surging North Carolina squad.

Gonzaga v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats have another big test coming up on December 22 as they take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chicago.

The Tar Heels, though ranked below the Wildcats at #12 are coming off a win against the #4 Gonzaga Bulldogs. And let’s be honest, it wasn’t just a win. They smoked the Bulldogs.

However, like the Wildcats, they have lost two games this season. They lost against #7 Michigan, 84-67, and to Texas, 92-89. The loss at Michigan isn’t bad by any means, as they’re ranked No. 5 in the nation and are 11-0 this season.

Texas, however, looks like a bad loss, as the Longhorns are now 7-3 this season with home losses to Radford and VCU.

If you asked me last week who I thought would win this game, I would’ve said the Wildcats had a small chance of winning and gave the Tar Heels the upperhand. However, this past weekend against Utah, the Wildcats showed some promising signs of improvement, but then again, so did the Tarheels. So, honestly, I’m not sure who I truly believe will pull out the W.

Right now, the Tar Heels have four guys averaging double digits in scoring. Cameron Johnson leads the team with 16.2 points per game, followed by Coby White with 15.2, Wildcat-killer Luke Made is next with 14.3, and highly-touted freshman Nassir Little is averaging 11.5 this season. On top of that, Maye is also averaging 10.1 rebounds per game, so he’s averaging a double-double after 10 games.

Right now, the Wildcats have five guys averaging double digits in scoring per game with Keldon Johnson at 16.1, Reid Travis at 14.6, PJ Washington with 13.5 and Tyler Herro with 12.1, but no one is averaging double digits in rebounds, Washington is the closest with 8.3 per game.

The Tar Heels actually rank first in the nation in rebounds at 46.1 per game. Kentucky sits at 41st with 39.6 per game.

So, it’s really hard to give either team the upper-hand right now. I’d still say I trust the Tar Heels more with their experience, but I think the Wildcats are really finding their groove right now, especially if Jemarl Baker becomes their secret weapon.

I am hopeful it won’t be as one-sided for the Wildcats as the Duke game in early November was. All in all, it should be a good game between two blue-blood teams and two of the best coaches in the game.