- Time: 6 pm ET on December 22nd, 2021.
- Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
- TV: ESPN has tonight’s TV coverage.
- Announcers: Karl Ravech and Chris Spatola will call the action.
- Online Stream: You can watch the game online with WatchESPN, the ESPN app, or a free trial of fuboTV.
- Replay: WatchESPN or SEC Network (check local listings).
- Radio: UK Sports Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt (local radio listings in link provided).
- Satellite Radio: Sirius 138 | XM 191 | SXM App 962
- Rosters: UK I WKU
- Stats to Know: UK I WKU
- Teamsheets: UK | WKU
- Odds: Kentucky is a 12-point favorite with an over/under of 141 as of Wednesday afternoon via per DraftKings. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Wildcats an 91.0% chance of winning. KenPom gives them an 82% chance of victory.
- Predictions: TeamRankings has the Cats winning 76-64. KenPom projects a 77-67 victory, Kentucky!
Reminder: We will have a toy drive tomorrow night to help children who were affected by the western Kentucky tornadoes have a wonderful holiday season.— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 21, 2021
You can bring new, unwrapped toys, books or $25 VISA/Mastercard gift cards to our next home games to participate! pic.twitter.com/wtLXzC5SOp
If you’re looking for ways to help out, check out the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.
Monday was a whirlwind of a day. After starting off with a cancellation of the Louisville game due to COVID, the Kentucky Wildcats hopped on the phone as they looked to land an opponent to take the slot of the Cardinals on Wednesday.
It first looked like it would be the Bellarmine Knights, but as the day moved on, it started to trend towards being Wisconsin, Texas, or Gonzaga. When none of those could work logistically, John Calipari landed on a game that fans have been pleading for in Western Kentucky.
Yes, that's right, the Hilltoppers will be coming to Lexington on Wednesday night.
This will be the first time the two teams have matched up since 2012, which happened in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This will be the first regular season matchup since 2001.
The current series record sits at 4-2 in favor of Kentucky, with wins for Western coming in 1971 and 2001.
This game will also raise money that will go towards tornado relief funds for the state.
“The best team for us to play in this situation is Western Kentucky,” Calipari said as he announced the matchup on his weekly radio show.
The Tops will enter Wednesday night’s matchup after defeating Louisville in Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon. They will enter Rupp Arena with an 8-4 record with their losses coming against Minnesota, South Carolina, Memphis, and Buffalo.
The Tops will be a challenge with a short-time frame to prepare overall. John Calipari will have to prepare for a 2-3 zone with a 7-foot-5 center (Jamarion Sharp) anchoring the middle, who averages 4.8 blocks per game. Add in the team averaging 9.3 steals per game, and this defense has proven to be effective.
Rick Stansbury’s squad also showed the ability to hit open shots constantly against Louisville this weekend, which is always a good combo when trying to make an upset bid.
On the season, WKU averages 78.6 points per game on 48% shooting from the field, and 33% from three. Individually, they are led in scoring by Jairus Hamilton at 16.5 points per game.
Following him, the Tops have a pair of solid scoring guards who also average double figures in Dayvion McKnight (14.1 PPG) and Camron Justice (13.2 PPG). Josh Anderson (11.0 PPG) is their leading shooter from deep at 42.9% on the season.
Kentucky is coming off their best game of the season, as they stomped North Carolina 98-69 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
For UK, they seem to have taken a big step in the right direction against UNC on both ends of the floor. Spacing on offense was much better compared to what we have seen all season, and the guards caused havoc against a solid backcourt of the Tar Heels led in particular by Sahvir Wheeler.
This game will be another where spacing will be key, especially against the 2-3 zone. The Cats obviously have the more talent, and that will show especially if the pace starts to go in Kentucky’s favor. Hit shots from the perimeter and slow down the WKU guards, and fans will be celebrating the ninth win of the season heading into Christmas.