College Basketball Pick
It’s two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum. Kentucky has climbed back up to the top of the SEC standings with huge wins, while Texas A&M has fallen fast, coming off a recent five-Game losing streak. This is the first and only meeting between these teams in the regular season and they’re meeting at the wrong time for the home team.
The Aggies are a balanced team with veterans and stud freshmen, but they haven’t been able to put things together as of late. However, during that SEC losing streak, their only home loss was against South Carolina and they did beat Iowa State in that period. But that doesn’t make up for losses at Arkansas and Alabama and a 17-point loss to Vanderbilt. since being ranked No. 5 in the country, something just doesn’t seem right with the team.
It’s been almost an opposite story for Kentucky, even with Alex Poythress out of the lineup. The Wildcats have figured out the secret key and recently reeled off three-straight wins by at least 19 points apiece, including a huge 89-62 win at South Carolina. Jamal Murray has taken up a bigger role and is hitting a ton of shots, which makes their backcOurt with Tyler Ulis unmatched in most Games.
Texas A&M will need to figure out a way to slow Murray and Ulis, or could be looking at another loss. That job is up to Danuel House, Alex Caruso and Jalen Jones. Those three are all senior guards with a good amount of size, which could lead to some trouble for Ulis and even Murray. If those guys can’t limit what Murray and Ulis do, it’ll be a tough night.
OUtside of the two guards for Kentucky, it’s mostly hit-or-miss without Poythress in there. Marcus Lee has been okay in Poythress’ absence, but Derek Willis is the guy that stretches the floor for Kentucky and opens up the cOurt.
The problem for opposing teams is that Murray and Ulis are usually the two best players on the cOurt in SEC play and those two have wrecked recent defenses. The Aggies probably won’t stop them completely, but House, Caruso and Jones should be able to keep up offensively.
Jones and House average nearly 16 per Game and both will need to hit that mark against UK. Elsewhere, A&M would be wise to feed Tyler Davis a bit in the post and see what comes of it. Davis averages 10.8 points per Game on the season, but has been a part of A&M’s recent problems, scoring in only single digits during the Four-Game losing streak. Kentucky doesn’t have the greatest post defense and that could lead to a big Game for Davis, as long as the Aggies go his way.
This is a big Game for Texas A&M to get back on track, but if they don’t get back to levels previously reached this season, could be in for a home loss.
At South Carolina last weekend, Ulis dropped 27 points and 12 assists and Murray had 26 points. Those two are cruising and if the Aggies can’t slow either one of them down, will be in trouble. They have the pieces to do that, but that doesn’t mean much with the way they are playing.
Score Prediction – Texas A&M 76 Kentucky 74