Kentucky, Texas A&M ready to pile up points
It all comes down to this: Kentucky and Texas A&M, beginning at 1 p.m. ET, dueling for the SEC’s automatic NCAA bid.
Both schools are shoo-ins for the Big Dance, but there’s still the little matter of 2015-16 league supremacy to settle. The Wildcats and Aggies shared the regular-season crown with matching 13-5 marks.
According to online sports book BetDSI.com, John Calipari’s crew will net the last laugh. UK is a 3.5-point favorite at Bridgestone Arena after bouncing a game Georgia group in the semifinals.
As for Texas A&M’s matchup yesterday, well, it elicited laughter all right. The Aggies dismantled LSU by 33 points. Freshman phenom Ben Simmons and company converted 20.6 percent of their field-goal attempts and appeared rattled from the opening tip.
Billy Kennedy’s troops tend to have that effect on foes. Just ask Kentucky, which absorbed a 79-77 overtime defeat at College Station on Feb. 20.
Guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray have helped the Wildcats ascend to a higher plane since then, though, with pivotman Alex Poythress also coming along in various facets of his game. Overall, UK has canned at least 50 percent of its shots in four straight contests.
While the blueblood program vies for a second straight trophy in Nashville, Texas A&M enters its first SEC championship affair since 1994. But the Aggies aren’t cowering at the prospect of trading buckets with the opposition. Danuel House and Jalen Jones spearhead an offense that can amass three-pointers in bunches.
Sunday’s total resides at 141.5 points. With all due respect to Texas A&M’s frequently stellar defense, that number could fall by the 35-minute mark. Strap yourself in for a dizzying dandy.
SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: TEXAS A&M/KENTUCKY OVER 141.5