Sinfully good matchup pits UK vs. UNC
Two weeks ago, Kentucky failed its first major exam of the college hoops season. Will John Calipari’s crew exact some measure of revenge today?
Las Vegas gets to watch the sixth-ranked Wildcats square off with No. 7 North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic at 5:45 p.m ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives UK odds of -105 to take care of business at T-Mobile Arena. Conversely, Roy Williams’ group represents a +115 underdog.
As usual, Kentucky (9-1) boasts an ultra-balanced roster. Four players – Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo – average double figures in scoring. Yet Calipari saw entirely too much blase enough ball movement for his liking in that 97-93 setback to UCLA on Dec. 3. The Lexington gang committed nine turnovers vs. the Bruins, too.
If UK can’t hang onto the rock shortly, the Tar Heels (10-1) will surely capitalize. The ACC titans are coming off a 73-71 squeaker over Tennessee. Junior forward Justin Jackson pours in 15.5 points per game, while Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks also have the ability to amass buckets in bunches. Unfortunately, key guard Joel Berry could miss his third straight contest due to a sprained ankle.
Whenever Calipari and Williams cross paths, we’re all but guaranteed an instant classic. On the basis of the Wildcats’ slightly better health situation, the SEC stalwarts receive our stamp of approval. Still, don’t be shocked if this one boils down to the final possession.
SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: KENTUCKY -1