Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-2) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (1-3)
- Game Time: 12 pm EST on Dec. 12.
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV Channel: Today’s game can be seen on CBS.
- Announcers: Tom McCarthy and Bill Raftery will call the action.
- Online Stream: CBS Sports and a free trial of fuboTV.
- 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.
- Odds: Kentucky opened as a seven-point favorite. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Kentucky a 59.5% chance of victory. KenPom gives Kentucky a 77% chance of winning.
- Tickets: Buy here
- Rosters: UK | ND
- Box Scores from Last Game: UK | ND
- Season Stats and Rankings: UK | ND
- Predictions: KenPom projects a 76-68 win for the home team. TeamRankings has the Cats winning 74-68, while numberFire is predicting a 73-67 victory for Kentucky.
In the midst of Camp Cal, the Kentucky Wildcats are looking ahead to a matchup at home with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Both teams are stuck at one win. The Irish are 1-2 with losses to Michigan State and Ohio State and their only win coming against Brad Calipari and the Detroit Mercy Titans.
As we know, after pounding Morehead State the Wildcats have dropped three ugly games in a row to Richmond, Kansas, and Georgia Tech.
There has been a lot of focus this season on how Kentucky has played every minute with brand new players. But they are not the only team struggling with turnover. Notre Dame is having to replace their two top scorers from a year ago, John Mooney and TJ Gibbs.
So far, junior guard Prentiss Hubb has picked up most of the slack. He is averaging 22.3 points, five rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game this season.
Junior forward Nate Laszewski has stepped up to lead in rebounds with 9.7 boards per game to go with his 15 points. At 6-10, Laszewski and the Irish have a formidable paint presence as he is joined by 6-11 senior Juwan Durham in the starting lineup.
A big key in this game for the Cats will be the play of senior center Olivier Sarr. The former Wake Forest product is averaging 9.8 points and 5.8 boards per game on 48.3% shooting. In his last game vs. Notre Dame while in the ACC, Sarr went for 30 points and 17 rebounds on 75% shooting.
Unlike Kentucky, the Irish have very little depth. All five starters play more than 27 minutes per game, and only one other player on the roster has seen more than 27 minutes for the entire season. The depth in the paint is exceptionally absent, forcing the Irish to play small lineups often.
If you recall, John Calipari pinned Kentucky’s woes against Georgia Tech on being thrown off by a small ball lineup. So if the Irish end up going with four guards at any point, hopefully the Cats learned a thing or two at Camp Cal that will help those matchups.
The Wildcats have looked shaky at best in the last three games, averaging 19.3 turnovers per game. Kentucky also struggled mightily behind the three-point line in their first two losses before an 8-20 performance against Georgia Tech.
For almost every remaining game on the schedule, the prediction is pretty simple: if Kentucky cleans up the turnovers and finds a rhythm on offense, they have a good chance to win.
If they continue to struggle to find their offensive identity, it will be a long night. Saturday’s game against Notre Dame is no different, but a four game losing streak would surely give more voice to all of the Cal-haters out there. He has a chance to (partially) redeem himself at noon on Saturday in Rupp Arena.