Kentucky Wildcats (22-5) at Texas A&M Aggies (14-12)
- Game Time: 7:00 pm EST on Tuesday, February 25th.
- Location: Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.
- TV Channel: Today’s game can be viewed on ESPN.
- Announcers: Karl Ravech, Jimmy Dykes and Marty Smith will call the action.
- 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 at WatchESPN.
- Replay: WatchESPN and the SEC Network (check local listings).
- Odds: Kentucky is a 6.5-point favorite as of Tuesday afternoon. ESPN BPI gives Kentucky a 78.9% chance of victory. KenPom gives the Wildcats a 72% of winning.
- Rosters: UK | A&M
- Live Stats
- Predictions: KenPom projects a 67-60 victory for Kentucky. TeamRankings projects a 68-61 win for the Wildcats, while numberFire went with a 68-60 triumph for the road team.
The Kentucky Wildcats continue to build upon their SEC lead. After a home win against Florida Saturday, the Wildcats have four more opportunities to fine-tune their squad before heading into postseason play. The first of those four will happen in College Station on Tuesday.
The Wildcats are continuing to grow in many ways. Immanuel Quickley’s confidence is through the roof. Tyrese Maxey is finding ways to impact the game even when he is having trouble scoring. And Nick Richards keeps fighting and making plays when the game is on the line.
However, the offensive regression of Ashton Hagans does not seem to be slowing down. Against Florida, Hagans had six of Kentucky’s 13 turnovers and only four assists. His defense has been consistent, his shooting seems to be improving, but he is starting to look incapable of taking care of the basketball. This has to change for Kentucky to be successful in March.
Texas A&M, on the other hand, seems to be hitting a bit of a stride. They have won three games in a row and are trying to peak at the right time heading into the SEC Tournament. While this has not been an optimal season for Buzz Williams and the Aggies, they are trying to make the most of it and playing spoiler to Kentucky would be a major success for them.
The Aggies are led in scoring by senior forward Josh Nebo with 11.9 points per game, and junior guard Savion Flagg is the only other player in double digits with 10. Senior guard Wendell Mitchell is chipping in 9.4 points per game.
Emmanuel Miller, a 6-7 freshman forward, leads in rebounding with just 6.5 per game. Nebo leads the team in blocks at two per contest.
The Aggies have struggled mightily from deep for much of this season, hitting just 27.6% of their triples, which ranks 349th nationally. In just SEC games, however, that number has increased to 30.9%. They recently hit 11/24 from deep in a road win at Alabama, then shot 9/17 in Saturday’s win over Mississippi State. Flagg is the team’s top 3-point shooter at 32.5%, and he’s hit 12/30 over his last four games.
One Aggie who’s helped with the shooting has been junior guard Quenton Jackson, who has become a key player over the last month, as he’s reached double-figures in seven of his last nine games. He’s also hit four of his last nine three-point attempts.
Texas A&M has managed to scrape by despite an undermanned roster. They do not have elite size, they do not shoot particularly well from outside, and they simply do not score a lot of points on a consistent basis.
But, as with all Buzz Williams teams, they will play physical and make it tough for the opponent to execute their game plan on both ends of the court for 40 minutes, and it’s starting to pay off with a much-improved team looking to pull a huge upset Tuesday.
While this is not a must-win game for Kentucky for the SEC standings, it is certainly that in terms of trying to secure a top 3-4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Will Kentucky show up in College Station and handle their business as they should? Or will they once again play to the level of their competition and find themselves in a dog fight?