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Round 1 of Cats vs. Tide.

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Kentucky v Kansas Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Kentucky Basketball vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

  • Time: 8 pm ET on Feb. 5.
  • Location: Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
  • TV Channel: ESPN has tonight’s TV coverage.
  • Announcers: Tom Hart and Jimmy Dykes are calling the action.
  • Online Stream: WatchESPN, the ESPN app, or a free trial of FuboTV
  • Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings)
  • Listen: UK Sports Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt
  • Satellite Radio: Sirius 84 | XM 84 | SXM App 84
  • Tickets
  • Rosters: UK l UA
  • Stats To Know: UK I UA
  • Team Sheets: UK I UA
  • Odds: DraftKings has Alabama favored by 1.5 points. ESPN’s matchup predictor is giving Kentucky a 61.6% chance of getting the win. KenPom gives Kentucky a 59% chance of winning. Barttorvik projected the Cats to be 3-point favorites and gives them a 61% chance of winning.
  • Predictions: Barttorvik is predicting Kentucky to get the 82-79 win, while KenPom is going with an 81-78 win for the road Cats. TeamRankings has Alabama winning 79-77. Go here for more predictions, and let us know your score prediction in the comments section!

The Kentucky Wildcats remain unbeaten in 2022 when they have a full roster following their 77-70 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Wednesday.

Now, the Cats turn their attention to the Alabama Crimson Tide while getting set for another tough road environment for the third Saturday in a row.

However, at this point, the Cats should be used to said tough environments and ready for the challenge this weekend, especially after last week’s thrashing of No. 5 Kansas at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

Alabama comes into the game with a 14-8 overall record and a 4-5 record in conference play. Their last game was a 100-81 loss on the road against the No. 1 ranked Auburn Tigers.

It has been a very strange season for the Tide, as they have some great wins over Miami, Gonzaga, Houston, Tennessee, LSU, and Baylor.

However, they have some very head-scratching losses to Iona, Memphis, Davidson, Missouri, and Georgia. They are a very streaky team to say the least.

Alabama is led in scoring by junior guard Jaden Shackelford who is averaging 17.6 points while shooting 37.3% from deep.

In the two-game sweep of Kentucky last season, Shackelford averaged 19.5 points on 11/28 shooting (39.3%) and 3.5 assists per game.

Senior guard Keon Ellis is leading the Tide in rebounds at 6.2 per game and steals at 2.0 per game. Junior guard Jahvon Quinerly is the assist leader at 4.3 per game, and freshman center Charles Bediako leads the team in blocks with 1.6 a game.

One other player to watch for is freshman guard J.D. Davison, who was actually ranked two spots (13th overall) ahead of TyTy Washington (15th) in the 2021 class. Davison is averaging a respectable 8.2 points on 47.3% shooting with 4.2 boards and 4.1 assists per game.

While Davison went scoreless in this week’s loss at Alabama, he just had one of his best games of the season in last Saturday’s win over No. 4 Baylor, as he recorded 14 points on 6/9 shooting (66.7%) with five assists, four boards and two steals.

Alabama is a lot like Kentucky in the sense that they like to get out and run, so we should expect this game to be a track meet with both teams flying up and down the court.

The key to beating Alabama on Saturday night will be limiting their production from the 3-point line, as they’re averaging 30 attempts per game at a 31.4% clip with three players shooting well over 30%.

Kentucky, on the other hand, is averaging 18 attempts per game and shooting 35.3% as a team. Kellan Grady is shooting 44.2%, while TyTy Washington and Davion Mintz both shoot 35%.

This will be the first of two matchups between these two teams, as they will meet again in Rupp Arena on February 19th.

After the Cats were swept by Alabama last season, I think it’s safe to say there’s going to be a bit of a revenge factor in this one.

Be forewarned that the ongoing ice storm around Kentucky could cause this game to be moved to a different time and/or date. But as of Thursday evening, the game is still set for a Saturday primetime tip-off.

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