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Saturday Headlines: Chomp the Gators Edition

The Kentucky Wildcats have been playing some of the best basketball in the country and look to continue that trend at home against the Gators.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, BBN!

The Kentucky Wildcats are back in action today as the Florida Gators come to Lexington. Normally this game has a lot of hype around it and features two top 25 teams. But, unfortunately for the Gators, the shine has worn off of the once great program.

Mike White has been about as mediocre as one can be after a strong start in Gainesville. There was a time when you could write Florida in as a Final Four threat every season but the program has been in serious decline.

The Gators looked to be back after a strong 6-0 start that included a win over Ohio State. They then abruptly dropped two straight to Oklahoma and Texas Southern. They started SEC play with three straight losses but they are on a four game winning streak. But the opponents are lacking cache. The wins include one against a bad Oklahoma State team and the dregs of the SEC: Missouri by one point, Ole Miss by 5 and Georgia by 9. Those SEC games were all at home as well.

They aren’t a good rebounding team and they’re play style isn’t one that would expect to bother Kentucky. Colin Castleton is 6’11 and Oscar Tshiebwe has had some trouble with lengthy players. But Castleton isn’t what you call the epitome of a “tough” player so I think Oscar will be OK.

There’s a reason why ESPN gives the Cats a 90.5% chance to win. I expect the team to be 21-4 by 6:00 PM this evening.

Tweets of the Day

He’s seriously the best dude. Most popular Kentucky basketball player since...?

Haven’t been in Rupp since a home Vanderbilt game on a Tuesday night almost two weeks ago.

Headlines

Jacob Toppin’s status up in the air | Cats Pause- Toppin suffered a sprained ankle at South Carolina on Tuesday night. Calipari declined to say whether or not he will play today. Cal claimed he “hasn’t seen him”.

Kentucky pushes claim for a one seed against Florida | WDRB- Purdue getting hammered by Michigan this week really helped Kentucky in the seeding but the Cats have to continue to win. Especially at home at what looks to be a bubble team at best. A lot of good data on the matchups here as well so check out what my guy Rick Bozich has to say.

Is this Kentucky team playing at the same level as the 2012 title team? | Vaught’s Views- There’s a compelling case to be made here. This team has some extremely similar attributes but better guard play. I’d say the one thing missing is a dude like MKG. Other than that, this team has a dominant big in the middle with better numbers than Anthony Davis, a spark off the bench like Darius Miller and overall better shooting.

Cats the favorite in Lexington | KSR- I expect them to cover the number.

Softball Cats sweep Sparty | UK Athletics- The softball team is off to a strong start after sweeping Liberty and then Michigan State in a two game tilt yesterday. Their second win as a 7-0 romp. The Cats are ranked 19th in the country.

Arkansas slays #1 and the Cats continue to dominate | SDS- Kentucky has one of the toughest schedules in the SEC (maybe the country) down the stretch as road games against Tennessee and Arkansas loom along with home tests against Alabama and LSU.

College basketball picks | CBS- It’s going to be a fun day of college hoops and I planning on watching a ton of it. Everybody likes UK outright but Florida getting love against the spread.

Team USA defeats Canada in Group Play | ESPN- That’s a massive victory for the Red, White and Blue against their Olympic rival.

Nick Baumgartner and Lindsey Jacobellis make history | Yahoo!- Team USA won their first ever gold medal in mixed team snowboard cross. This was the first ever medal for 40 year old Baumgartner and the second gold this week for Jacobellis. My wife and I watched it live last night and it was some exciting stuff.

A rare one vs. one showdown in the Super Bowl | Sporting News- Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford were both taken as the overall number one player in their respective drafts. Which one has the edge?

Join me around 6:00 PM for the KY Fish and Wildlife UK Postgame Show on ESPN 680/105.7. The shows have been a great deal of fun this season. We are the first place for calls, texts, and all manner of reaction as well as being the first chance you get to hear John Calipari live after the game. If you haven’t joined us before, do so today!