How to watch Kentucky Wildcats (17-7, 6-5 in SEC play) at Texas A&M aggies (16-8, 5-6 in SEC play)
Location: Reed Arena
Game time: 8:15 P.M. EST
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Online Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington or online at UKAthletics.com.
Odds: The Cats opened as 4.5-point underdogs, and the line has since moved to 5.5. KenPom projected the Cats to be a 4.5-point underdog.
Predictions: UK has a 31.8-percent chance to win, according to ESPN’s matchup predictor. KenPom gives UK a 34-percent chance of winning and projects an 71-67 win for the Aggies.
The Kentucky Wildcats are in for another Saturday road test when they face the Texas A&M Aggies this weekend.
Tuesday night’s loss to the Tennessee Volunteers was highlighted as the first time the Volunteers had beaten Kentucky twice in a row since 1999. The Wildcats also dropped two straight losses for the second time in exactly three weeks, marking just the second time in the Calipari era that’s happened. The first time coming during the 2013 season when Kentucky not only missed the NCAA Tournament but was also bounced in the first round of the NIT by Robert Morris.
Now, the Cats must turn things around quickly, as they travel to College Station for a tough road clash with Texas A&M. The Wildcats will then be right back on the road as they face a road matchup next Wednesday at #8 Auburn. They’ll finally be back at home next Saturday, however it will be against Avery Johnson’s Alabama team led by standout point guard Collin Sexton.
Winning any of these next three games is crucial for their resume going into March, so let’s start with A&M on Saturday.
Earlier this season, Kentucky edged the Aggies at home 74-73 and got away with a what looked like a foul that should’ve been called on Wenyen Gabriel and given A&M the chance to win the game at the foul line.
Once again, the Wildcats will be underdogs on the road... and quite frankly, rightfully so. Not only does this team struggle to score and control the ball, they also have yet to find a consistent go-to option other than Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Kevin Knox has shown flashes this season (ask West Virginia) that he can be “that guy.” However, his last two games he’s a combined 5-17 from the field (0-5 from behind the arc) and has recorded just six rebounds.
Making this even though is the Aggies are coming off their best win of the season: A 81-80 triumph at Auburn. Freshman guard TJ Starks exploded for 23 points to lead the Aggies, while Robert Williams and Tyler Davis combined for 31 points and 15 rebounds.
For the season, Davis leads A&M in scoring (14.4 ppg) to go with 8.9 boards per game. Williams isn’t far behind at 10.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest. Juniors Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg are combining for 23.1 points and 5.6 assists per game.
Those are the Aggies’ four heavy-hitters, but Stark is starting to become that fifth option who can take over a game. Prior to his 23-point outburst at Auburn, he scored 16 in a win over Arkansas. Starks went for 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting the first time Kentucky and Texas A&M faced off.
Calipari and his young padawans have their work cut out for them this weekend to build some kind of momentum to hopefully avoid a losing record down the stretch. That, on top of an early exit from the SEC tournament, would not bode well for the Cats’ NCAA tournament bid hopes.