clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Basketball: Predicting the Month of December

How will the Kentucky Wildcats fair over a significant stretch of basketball?

NCAA Basketball: Monmouth-NJ at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Since their opening night loss to the Duke Blue Devils, the Kentucky Wildcats have battled through some of the better mid-major teams on their way to a 7-1 record.

The month of December, one of the more pivotal times of the college basketball season, started with Kentucky’s best performance of the season thus far. UNC-Greensboro provided a difficult test, but the month only gets tougher from here.

How will the ever-growing Wildcats close out their non-conference schedule before SEC play begins?

Kentucky vs. Seton Hall - Saturday, 12/8 - 12 P.M. EDT

The Seton Hall Pirates are 4-3 on the year, but taking them lightly would likely lead to a defeat. The Pirates have made the NCAA Tournament for three consecutive years, most recently taking the Kansas Jayhawks down to the wire in a Round of 32 loss last spring.

Seton Hall’s losses aren’t shameful, either, as they’ve come to Nebraska, Louisville and Saint Louis. Those three teams have a combined record of 17-4 thus far. As the Seton Hall faithful should travel from South Orange, New Jersey, don’t be surprised if MSG has just as much Kentucky blue.

Final Score: Kentucky 85, Seton Hall 72

Kentucky vs. Utah - Saturday, 12/15 - 5 P.M. EDT

This will be the first time graduate transfer Reid Travis faces a PAC 12 team since graduating from Stanford. He suited up against the Utah Utes five times during his time with Stanford, with his best outing coming via 26 points in 2016. Utah is 4-3 on the season, losing to Hawaii, Minnesota and Northwestern. Keep in mind this will be Kentucky’s final home game of the 2018 calendar year.

Final Score: Kentucky 92, Utah 68

Kentucky vs. North Carolina - Saturday, Dec 22 - 5:15 P.M. EDT

The last time these two blue bloods met in the CBS Sports Classic was the 2016 season when Malik Monk scored 47 points, including a game winner to cap off one of the best regular season games in recent memory. Their most recent meeting, though, came with the result of Luke Maye’s shot that shattered the hearts of Kentucky fans’. It was a game-winner that sent the Tar-heels to the Final Four. These prodigious rivals seem to play an all-time classic every time they are pitted against each other, so this game shouldn’t disappoint.

North Carolina has a potential high-lottery NBA Draft pick in Nassir Little, but the team has had a different freshman in the spotlight so far this season. Coby White has been electric for Roy Williams, averaging over 15 points per game and shooting 41% from behind the arc. The Tar-heels also have two veterans in Cameron Johnson and Maye, who are both consistent each night. Kentucky has a ways to go before they’re truly prepared for this game.

Final Score: Kentucky 79, UNC 77

Kentucky @ Louisville - Saturday, Dec 29 - 2 P.M. EDT

First-year head coach Chris Mack has the Louisville Cardinals out to a 5-2 start this season. After tough losses to Tennessee and Marquette, the Cardinals managed to pull out an overtime win over top-ten Michigan State and then on the road against Seton Hall. Their strong start can be primarily credited to forward Jordan Nwora, the team’s leader in both scoring with 16.4 PPG & rebounding with 7.1 PPG.

Louisville doesn’t have any overwhelming strengths, but they’re above-average when defending the three point line, crashing the glass and getting to the foul line. The Yum! Center is a tough place to play and will be the first true road game for Kentucky this year. This game is a game that, until improvements are made, Kentucky could very well lose.

Final Score: Louisville 72, Kentucky 68