Saturday, February 2, 2008

East Meets West as Tennessee Travels to Mississippi State

Kentucky @ Georgia
After a rough start to the season for the Wildcats, they have ripped off 2 straight wins over SEC East rivals Tennessee and South Carolina. Kentucky comes into this game with a full week to prepare for a Georgia team who has lost its last 2 to those same teams. The Bulldogs main offensive weapon, Billy Humphrey, has been battling a knee injury for most of the year and said after the South Carolina loss it was a reason for his subpar play. If Humphrey can battle through the injury then Georgia has a great chance at home where they are undefeated this season. The Wildcats are 0-4 away from Rupp Arena and shoot just 42% from the field as compared to 47% in Lexington. Kentucky absolutely has to have this one if they want to make a serious run at the NCAA Tournament. I think this game comes right down to the wire with Georgia prevailing on a last second shot.
Prediction: Georgia
CSTV is broadcasting this Dog and Cat fight online!

Florida @ Arkansas
The Gators are quietly 18-3 and 5-1 on the year despite losing their entire starting lineup from back to back national championship teams. Freshman G Nick Calathes has picked up some of the slack and had a double double in points and assists against Vanderbilt last weekend. His counterpart for Arkansas is Patrick Beverly who had double digits in points and rebounds in a win over Miss State this week. Florida plays much differently on the road shooting just 44% from the field instead of 50% in the O-Dome. I think the Razorbacks will try to slow this game down and let their halfcourt defense that allows just over 60 ppg in Fayetteville take over. I like Arkansas to win by 4-8 points
Prediction: Arkansas

Tennessee @ Miss State
The leader of the East meets the leader of the West in Starkville as Tennessee puts their top 5 ranking on the line. The Vols will want to get this game into the 80s with their full court press defense and run n gun offense. The Bulldogs of Miss State would much rather play in the halfcourt and led their inside defense give the Vols fits in the halfcourt. I think the team that can impose their style on the other will win this one. 75 is the breaking point as Tennessee has lost just once when scoring 75 or above. Miss State has not lost a game in their last 10 if it keeps the opponent to 75 or below. I think Chris Lofton coming on for the Vols gives them that outside shooting they will need against Miss State to win by 5 or less.
Prediction: Tennessee

Season: 29-5
SEC: 15-2

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