Mississippi State Bulldogs (14-7) at Kentucky Wildcats (16-5)
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
- Game Time: 9:00 pm EST on Tuesday, February 4th
- TV Channel: Tuesday’s game can be viewed on ESPN.
- 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 WatchESPN.
- Odds: ESPN BPI gives Kentucky a 66.7% chance of winning.
- Rosters: UK | MSU
- Live Stats
- Prediction: KenPom projects a 72-68 victory for Kentucky. TeamRankings has the Cats winning 73-66, while numberFire goes with a 71-65 triumph for the home team.
The Kentucky Wildcats took a tough loss at Auburn on Saturday, and as always the critics have come out to pronounce the season over. Believe it or not, though, there are still many games to be played. In fact, the Wildcats will be in action at Rupp Arena on Tuesday as they host a surging Mississippi State squad.
Ben Howland has his team exceeding expectations this season. After starting SEC play 0-3, they have picked up big wins against Arkansas and at Florida. They have also done a good job taking care of business in the games they were expected to win like Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri.
The Bulldogs bring a style we have not seen much of in Rupp Arena this season. They do not rely heavily on the three-point shot, yet still put a lot of points on the board. Their leading scorer is 6-10 forward Reggie Perry, who averages a double-double with 17.2 points and 10 rebounds per game. Perry is a versatile player that will be a tough matchup for anyone on Kentucky’s roster. He has scored 22+ points in seven of his last 10 games.
Mississippi State bring a balanced attack as Tyson Carter, Nick Weatherspoon, and Robert Woodard average 13.3, 12.2, and 11.9 points per game, respectively. They feed off of the attention that Perry draws and benefit when defenses hesitate to help off of him.
Expect Nick Richards to start the game on Perry. EJ Montgomery would certainly have a hard time with him, Keion Brooks is too small, and Nate Sestina...uh...struggles...guarding people. Richards certainly has what it takes to slow Perry down, but with as much as Perry has the ball it will be a challenge for Richards to stay out of foul trouble.
Richards nor Ashton Hagans took their A-game down to Auburn on Saturday. That cannot be the case if Kentucky wants to win SEC games, let alone NCAA Tournament games. This is a great opportunity for the Wildcats to learn from Saturday’s mistakes and start to tighten things up down this final stretch of SEC play.