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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Razorback Edition

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Kentucky has struggled on the SEC road this season. Can they get back on a winning streak in Arkansas tonight?

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

After our loss last Wednesday to Auburn and what lay ahead on the schedule, I began to entertain doubts that Kentucky could make it to the NCAA Tournament if they didn’t turn things around immediately. They played hard, but just weren’t able to finish the game and secure another signature win. Limping back home to face a tough Crimson Tide team, I was prepared for catastrophe.

But something happened on Saturday. The magic of the house Adolph Rupp built seemed to assert itself once again, and Kentucky played a quality basketball game. More importantly, they finished the game very strong defensively, and walked away with a hard fought win that they needed badly. Next up is the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Kentucky at Arkansas

It is never easy to win in Bud Walton Arena, and it won’t be easy tonight. Arkansas, like last season, is a quality team with plenty of depth and shooting. Arkansas is the best 3-point shooting team in the SEC (40%), and top 25 in the country at that stat.

They also lead the SEC in effective FG% and are #2 in steals. It’s that last stat that worries me the most after the debacle in the first half at Auburn.

Where the Razorbacks are vulnerable is on the glass. Auburn is a poor rebounding team on both sides of the ball but particularly defensively, and the Wildcats are a good offensive rebounding team, and that should spell trouble for the Razorbacks. Kentucky is the worst 3-point shooting team in the league (28%) and among the worst in the country.

Most of the time, I wouldn’t have that much hope based on those stats, but UK is also the best 3-point shooting defense in the SEC and second best in the entire country. They will need all of that tonight, too.

But UK has a chance in this one. Arkansas is coming off 4 straight victories and is playing their 4th of five games at home. It’s unusual to think of it this way, but this looks like a trap game for the Razorbacks. Let’s hope the Wildcats are up to the task.

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