Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1) at Kentucky Wildcats (8-2)
- Game Time: 5:15 pm EST on Saturday, December 21st
- Location: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- TV Channel: CBS
- Announcers: Brad Nessler; analysis, Bill Raftery; sideline, Jamie Erdahl
- 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: The game can be streamed online using CBS Sports
- Odds: Ohio State is currently a three-point favorite as of Saturday afternoon. ESPN BPI gives Ohio State a 68.6% chance of victory. KenPom gives the Buckeyes a 67% chance of winning in Vegas.
- Rosters: UK | OSU
- Live Stats
- Predictions: KenPom projects Ohio State to win 68-63. TeamRankings has the Buckeyes winning 67-64, while numberFire went with a 67-65 Ohio State victory.
While we wait for the game, here is UK’s HYPE video to get you fired up for the game today:
The Wildcats lost their second game of the season on Wednesday to the struggling Utah Utes. Many fans in Big Blue Nation are panicking, as they do nearly every December. But don’t we always look back and realize that was silly when March rolls around?
Ashton Hagans has been Kentucky’s most consistent player, followed by Immanuel Quickley. Nick Richards is in the middle of a rough stretch after starting the season out looking like a great NBA prospect. And none of the young guys has seemed to show up on a consistent basis.
Perhaps the biggest concern for the Wildcats is outside shooting. As a team, they are hitting just 27.5% from behind the three point line. And there is not a single player on the roster shooting better than 33.3%. Shooting has rarely, if ever, been the strength of Calipari teams. But this season, it seems to be possibly their biggest weakness.
Ohio State is having a great season so far, aside from their loss to a less than impressive Texas Tech team. They have wins over Cincinnati, Villanova, and North Carolina, and they were in line to be the No. 1 team in the land before they fell to Minnesota.
The Buckeyes are led in points, rebounds, and blocks by 6-9 forward Kaleb Wesson. And, unlike Kentucky, they are a very good shooting team from deep. As a group, they have hit 41.6% of their three-pointers on the season. They have five (!) players shooting 41% or better.
This is a huge matchup for Kentucky. If they are able to pull out a win, the doubters will be forced to take a step back and reassess their “Kentucky is done” takes. But if the Wildcats fall for the second game in a row, people in blue t-shirts across the country are going to start hitting the panic button.