- Time: 7:30 pm ET on Tuesday, November 28th
- Location: Central Bank Center at Rupp Arena
- TV Channel: ESPN will have tonight’s TV broadcast.
- Announcers: Mike Morgan and Pat Bradley will call the action.
- Online Stream: WatchESPN and the ESPN app
- Radio: Tom Leach and Jack Givens have the UK radio call on the UK Sports Radio Network.
- Replay: WatchESPN and the SEC Network (check local listings).
- Rosters: UK | UM
- Stats to Know: UK | UM
- KenPom: UK | UM
- Odds: DraftKings Sportsbook has Kentucky as a six-point favorite. ESPN’s matchup predictor has a surprisingly high level of confidence in the Cats at 79%. Bart Torvik is slightly less confident at 74%, while KenPom is at 72%.
- Predictions: Bart Torvik is going with an 83-76 victory for the Cats. EvanMiya and Haslametrics both project Kentucky to win by very similar margins, 83-76 and 83-77. KenPom went with an 85-79 victory, Kentucky!
How do you see tonight’s game playing out? Let us know in the comments section!
Tuesday night challenge. Go Big Blue.— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 28, 2023
⏰ 7:30 p.m. ET
️ https://t.co/sIKpB89Ixr pic.twitter.com/jvGDS144KU
It’s been a fun weekend for Kentucky fans. The basketball team put up a historic offensive performance on Friday, scoring 118 points. That was followed on Saturday by the football team taking down a 10th-ranked Louisville team with a last-minute touchdown.
Then, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Mark Stoops announced he would be staying at Kentucky, and the volleyball team earned the 8th-overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
That positive momentum carries into a big-time game at Rupp Arena on Tuesday against a Miami Hurricanes team coming off a Final Four appearance. Coached by Jim Larrañaga, the No. 8 Hurricanes look to have the personnel to make another deep tournament run this season.
This year’s Miami team, while they haven’t played a difficult schedule, is undefeated and one of the best offensive teams in the country. That said, this No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats team has the potential to be John Calipari’s best offensive team during his time in Lexington.
With two high-powered offensive teams, it’s sure to be an exciting game. Let’s break it down.
Crash the Offensive Glass
Without a true big man, Kentucky has not been great on the boards, as they usually are under John Calipari. That said, they haven’t been terrible either, averaging 38.5 rebounds per game.
That leads to Miami’s biggest weakness, which is rebounding. Averaging 36 rebounds per game, they are not far off from Kentucky’s. However, they give up the second most offensive rebounds of any Power Five team, giving up nine or more offensive rebounds in every game this season, including 12 or more in three games.
Kentucky hasn’t been great at crashing the offensive glass this season, but the opportunities should be there.
Defend the 3
As good as Kentucky has been at shooting and making the 3 this season, they have also given up plenty of 3-point attempts to their opponents, an average of 28.3 to be exact. A large part of that is the style of play Kentucky’s opponents have played.
That said, Miami doesn’t shoot the 3 at an extremely high rate, but they shoot the best percentage in the nation, at 45.6 percent, which number could be more like fifty with the “Rupp Arena opponent shooting bump.”
That is highlighted by their talented backcourt of Wooga Poplar and Nijel Pack, who shoot more than ten 3s combined.
DJ Wagner, Rod Dillingham, and Reed Sheppard will have a lot of defensive responsibility on Tuesday night, and they cannot afford to go under the screen and allow threes, as they did with Kansas.
Scoring more than your opponent. It sounds simple and is the basis of nearly every sport, including basketball. With two teams ranked top 10 in KenPom’s offensive efficiency ratings, there is almost certainly going to be a lot of scoring.
In terms of points, Kentucky averages more than 94 points per game, while Miami averages 89 points, both top ten amongst Power Five teams. Both are efficient as well, ranking top 20 in field goal percentage and points per possession. So what’s going to give?
With neither team great defensively, it is going to be a shootout, but Kentucky certainly cannot afford a cold night from the field.