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Kentucky

at

Georgia

College Football Pick

2/18/17

The last time these teams met, Kentucky couldn't pull away at home in the second half and that led to Georgia leading late until Malik Monk did his thing and UK won in overtime. And while the Bulldogs have struggled to get wins, they at least know they can compete with the Wildcats after leading for most of the first half in Lexington only a couple weeks ago. Of course, freshman point guard De'Aaron Fox missed that game so he could easily be the difference in this one.

Georgia knows its chances of making a mark and getting a spot in the NCAA tournament are waning. If the Bulldogs don't win this one, they'll likely need to win the SEC tourney to make the big dance. Georgia has been an unpredictable team throughout the year, though, even at home. Only a week before that Kentucky game, Georgia lost by 20 to Alabama in Athens. The Bulldogs have given fight on the road to teams like Texas A&M, UK and South Carolina, but couldn't grab wins and are now in a must-win situation against Kentucky, which is still fighting to win the SEC regular season.

The path for Georgia's success remains the same as last game. They dominated inside the paint and only needed to attempt 10 threes to keep the game close. Yante Maten (22 points) and Derek Ogbeide (18 points) could not be stopped as the big men went a combined 14-of-23 from inside the arc. Edrice Adebayo has plenty of potential, but his defense is still lacking as he battled foul trouble for most of that game. Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries are good in certain areas of the court, but aren't exactly great defenders, either. That's one of the main reasons this is one of the worst defensive teams that John Calipari has had in awhile.

Georgia will likely take the same route with those guys while second-leading scorer JJ Frazier chucks up shots per usual. Frazier had 23 points in the first meeting, but was only 5-of-17 from two-point range and rushed some of his shots. On the other end, De'Aaron Fox could make all the difference as only Isaiah Briscoe and Malik Monk showed any consistency offensively with Adebayo playing just 22 minutes due to fouls. With Fox in the game, Kentucky gets its playmaker and another scorer, which should help. But will Monk make 7 threes and score 37 points again? If Adebayo gets into foul trouble again, that will be an issue for a team that lacks a paint presence on both ends of the court.

This one will likely be another close result as that's about all these teams have played in over the last few weeks. Kentucky is struggling to stop anyone from scoring, while Georgia keeps itself in games through Maten and Frazier, but can't close the deal. The Cats looked a little better at Alabama last weekend, but now get a desperate Georgia team. If Adebayo can match whatever Maten and Ogbeide, that'd be the best shot of Kentucky winning this game without a buzzer beater.

Our Pick - Kentucky by 10

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