Friday, February 27, 2009
LSU Tigers at Kentucky Wildcats
The West Division Champion LSU Tigers travel to Lexington to face a Kentucky team hungry to bounce back from a bad loss this week to South Carolina. This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Wildcats really need this one to improve their NCAA Tournament chances.
LSU 24-4, 12-1, 5-2 (away), RPI #29
Kentucky 19-9, 8-5, 12-4 (home), RPI #61
Kentucky has won 8 of the last 10
Kentucky has won the last 11 at Rupp Arena
What Kentucky Must Do To Win...
1. Take Care of the Rock
The Wildcats had 20 turnovers in the loss to South Carolina on Wednesday. UK is averaging 17 turnovers per game on the season but good news for Kentucky fans is that LSU is forcing just under 14 per game.
2. Shoot Better
Kentucky is a pretty good shooting team on average hitting just under 49 percent on the season, but that fell to 34 percent against South Carolina. Contrast that figure against a 60 percent game in a win versus Tennessee last weekend.
3. Punch LSU In the Mouth Early
The Tigers are winners of 12 straight and have not lost in over a month. I think UK needs to deliver an early punch and get the home crowd involved. This will be the toughest road game LSU has had in a while. We are not really sure how LSU will react to being down on the road because they have not been in so long.
What LSU Must Do To Win...
1. Pressure UK Point Guards
We saw on Wednesday what happens when you put pressure on Kentucky ball handlers full court. LSU has the athleticism in the back court to pressure the Wildcats and try to force turnovers.
2. Get Up Early
Kentucky has been like a snow ball at home this year because when they get up they have rarely given up the lead. Only South Carolina came from behind to win and the game was back and forth many times.
3. Get to the Offensive Glass
In addition to turnovers, Kentucky has struggled rebounding the ball this season. LSU averages 14 offensive rebounds per game. UK is giving up 12.5 per game The Wildcats are not a running team so the Tigers should not be afraid of crashing the offensive boards.
It was hard to find things wrong with LSU because they haven't lost in so long. But Kentucky is a different team at home this year. The team that shoots the ball better will win this game. I think LSU is the better team, but not at Rupp which has been a house of horrors for the Tigers (11 straight losses). I will take Kentucky in a close game.
Kentucky wins by 2-8 points
Season: 19-18 SU through 2/24
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