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Game Glance: Kentucky hosts Mississippi State and Georgia

The Cats have a pair of challenging tests at home this week.

UK Mascot Wildcat Scratch Dylan Ballard - A Sea Of Blue

It’ll be an important week for the Kentucky Wildcats after dropping an overtime thriller in College Station on Saturday.

Kentucky pushed the Texas A&M Aggies to the very brink but totally ran out of steam after regulation.

As tough as it was to watch this group drop a conference game, the long-term outlook shouldn’t change because there’s no shame in losing on the road in what was a very hostile environment.

There will be little time for sulking because next up for UK is a Mississippi State Bulldogs team who beat #5 Tennessee just last week.

Kentucky and Mississippi State will tip off in Lexington on Wednesday, January 17th, at 7:00 pm, with ESPN2 hosting the television broadcast.

The Bulldogs, coached by Chris Jans, are 12-4 (1-2) on the season, with their most recent contest resulting in an 82-74 loss on their home floor to Alabama.

Freshman guard Josh Hubbard scores over 15 points a game, while senior forward Tolu Smith has averaged 17.3 points.

Smith was a preseason All-American selection but had been sidelined most of the year with a foot injury. The 6-foot-11 St Louis (MO) native will be playing in just his sixth game of the season when he takes the Rupp Arena floor on Wednesday night.

He played 29 minutes and scored 23 points when MSU upset #5 Tennessee last week, so slowing him down will be critical.

This will also be a good test for the Cats after getting crushed on the boards Saturday, as Smith is easily one of the best bigs they’ll face this season.

Game: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Time: 7 pm ET on January 17th

Location: Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center

TV Channel: ESPN2

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).

Odds: ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Cats a 72.8% chance of victory, while KenPom has it at 69%. EvanMiya is at 65.3% in favor of the Cats.

Early Predictions: KenPom has Kentucky winning 80-75. EvanMiya is going with a 78-74 victory for the Cats.


Following that game the Cats will welcome the Georgia Bulldogs to town. That one will get a cozy 6 pm ET slot on the SEC Network on Saturday, January 20th.

Mike White has had his team playing some decent basketball this year in spurts. Georgia travels to South Carolina before coming to Lexington so the oddsmakers will likely be in favor of the Cats.

The Dawgs aren’t overwhelming with any one player but instead, score their modest 75.4 points per game by committee. 6-foot-4 senior guard Noah Thomasson leads all players with a 12.7 scoring average.

Another thing to know with the Dawgs is all of their losses have been good losses. They fell in Vegas to Oregon, to Miami and Providence (with a healthy Bryce Hopkins) in the Baha Mar Hoops Tournament, and are coming off a narrow home defeat to Tennessee after leading most of the second half.

While the Cats are in the friendly confines of Rupp this week, they absolutely have to bring their A-game to come away with a 2-0 sweep.

Game: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Time: 6 pm ET on January 20th

Location: Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center

TV Channel: SEC Network

Online Stream: WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

Radio: Tom Leach and Jack Givens on the UK Sports Radio Network.

Replay: WatchESPN and the SEC Network (check local listings)

Odds: ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Cats an 85.6% chance of victory, while KenPom is at 84%, and EvanMiya is at 87.7%.

Early Predictions: KenPom is going with an 85-74 victory, while EvanMiya went with an 84-72 win.

How do you see Kentucky’s week going? Sound off in the comments section!