Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kentucky-South Carolina Prediction



Kentucky Wildcats at South Carolina Gamecocks
Wednesday 7PM
TV: Raycom

Kentucky, fresh off a blowout of Tennessee, travels to Columbia for a rematch with South Carolina who defeated the Wildcats earlier this season in Lexington. The Gamecocks are tied with UK and Florida at 8-4 in the East Division. The top two teams will receive first round SEC Tournament byes.

Records:

Kentucky 19-8, 8-4, 4-4 (away), RPI #62
South Carolina 19-6, 8-4, 15-1 (home), RPI #43

Series:

Kentucky is 7-3 in the last 10 games
Kentucky is 4-1 in the last 5 games at the Colonial Center

Last Meeting:

South Carolina won their fourth game in a row by defeating Kentucky 78-77. The Gamecocks were lead by their backcourt duo of Zam Frederick and Devan Downey who combined for 47 points. South Carolina won this game by dominating the glass with 18 offensive rebounds allowing them 76 field goal attempts to just 48 for Kentucky. The Wildcats also hurt themselves with 21 turnovers.

What South Carolina Must Do To Win...

I said it last time they played and I will say it again. The Gamecocks have to have big games from Downey and Frederick to win this game. South Carolina needs to do a better job of getting to the free throw line where they had just 15 attempts and made seven last meeting. The interior defense needs to slow Patrick Patterson in the paint. The sophomore had 28 in January and is coming off a very good game Saturday.


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What Kentucky Must Do To Win...

Rebound the ball. The Wildcats were punished on the glass in the loss and that stat has been in a trend in UK losses this season. Kentucky has to play the same kind of defense they did on Saturday where they allowed UT just 32 percent shooting from the field which is even lower than the 38 percent UK's defense is averaging on the season. And finally, if they get production from guys like Darius Miller like they did against the Vols then that just frees up more space for Jodie Meeks and Patterson who had 48 combined against South Carolina last game.

Prediction

The Gamecocks have lost just once at home this season to arch rival Clemson back early in the season. But I think Kentucky is getting on a roll and they did not play very well in the previous meeting, but lost by just one point. I like Kentucky to win this one close and split the season series.

Kentucky wins by 1-5 points

Season: 19-16 SU through 2/22


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