Utah Valley Wolverines (3-1) at Kentucky Wildcats (2-1)
- Date: Monday, November 18
- Game Time: 7 pm EST
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV Channel: ESPN2
- Radio: Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and on the UK Sports Network.
- Online radio: TuneIn broadcast or UKAthletics.com.
- Online Stream: WatchESPN
- Odds: Kentucky opened as a 25-point favorite vs. the Wolverines. ESPN BPI gives the Wildcats a 96.5% chance of winning, while KenPom gives them a 99% chance of winning.
- Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings)
- Score Projections: KenPom projects a 79-55 win for Kentucky. TeamRankings is going with an 80-55 win for the home team, while numberFire went with a 79-65 margin.
- Live Stats
The Wildcats will be looking to rebound from one of the more embarrassing losses in program history when Utah Valley comes to Rupp Arena on Monday.
It is not very often that you see the No. 1 team in the nation beaten by a mid-major on their home floor. But all Kentucky can do now is move forward and learn from the experience.
Monday’s game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 pm and can be seen ESPN2 and will mark the first of four games in the BBN Showcase.
John Calipari’s team will also have had six full days off to regroup and do some soul-searching before taking on the Wolverines. Last week, the Cats learned the painful lesson that nothing can be taken for granted and max effort is needed if they want to win.
One bright spot from the Evansville loss was Immanuel Quickley continuing to look drastically improved from last year. Quickley had a career-high 16 points to go with a career-high nine rebounds. He nearly willed the Wildcats to victory, and they’ll a similar effort Monday to help get this team moving back in the right direction.
Utah Valley has a record of 3-1 and has out-rebounded every opponent that they have played this season, an area that has already plagued UK through their first three games. Winning the battle on the boards has to be a point of emphasis for not only this game but every game moving forward.
Nick Richards and Nate Sestina will be heavily relied on to carry the bulk of the rebounding load while EJ Montgomery is out with an injury and Keion Brooks is still searching to find his identity on this team.
Utah Valley is lead by Brandon Everette who is averaging 17 points per game while shooting over 56% from the field. The Wolverines are also averaging ab impressive 8.5 blocks through their first four games. Considering Kentucky has really struggled to finish at the rim this may be a bigger test than they’d prefer from another mid-major team.
The Wolverines’ lone loss was at Denver, 74-62. They have double-digit wins over UAB, Westminster (D-2) and Ottawa (NAIA). Needless to say, they’re getting a major step up in competition Monday, but after the way Kentucky played last week, expect the Wolverines to bring it in hopes of pulling off a similar upset.
I’d expect Kentucky to come out on strict orders to remain focused for 40 minutes.