The Kentucky Wildcats return home to the Rupp Arena this Saturday afternoon to host the Auburn Tigers.
Road to Match-up
No. 4 Kentucky heads into this game after a quiet mid-week win in Columbia against Missouri. The Wildcats are looking to bring home the same intensity they showed against 5th ranked Tennessee last weekend.
However, Auburn is not afraid of the big dogs…or cats. The Tigers, who currently sit 7th in the SEC, had an impressive showcase when they last visited a ranked team. In a battle of Tigers, No. 13 LSU had to deal with a game-long organized and fearless Auburn offense. A performance like the one Auburn showed in Louisiana can reward Bruce Pearl and his boys an upset this time around.
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) February 22, 2019
Kentucky’s 2nd Half Problem
The Wildcats are undoubtedly an explosive first half team. John Calipari’s squad has stepped into the dressing room at half time topping their last 5 opponents.
- vs. South Carolina 39-28
- vs. Mississippi State 40-25
- vs. LSU 40-32
- vs. Tennessee 37-31
- vs. Missouri 41-23
Kentucky proceeded to win 4 out of the 5 games. Nevertheless, Wildcats’ performance in the second half in those 5 games was nowhere near as good.
- vs. South Carolina 37-20
- vs. Mississippi State 31-42
- vs. LSU 31-41
- vs. Tennessee 49-38
- vs. Missouri 25-35
Kentucky can run into trouble if Auburn manages to replicate its consistent performance against LSU.
Each side has a group of good shooters in their rosters.
Kentucky’s leading scorer sophomore PJ Washington averages 14.9 PPG. The Dallas native and his entourage consisting of freshmen Keldon Johnson (13.8 PPG) and Tyler Herro (13.5 PPG), and Senior Reid Travis (11.3 PPG) can turn into any oppositions worst nightmare. Fortunately for the Tigers, Travis will sit out of this game with a knee injury.
MRI results confirmed that @2ReidTravis2 has suffered a sprained right knee. No other damage to the knee was detected. He's expected to miss at least two weeks but we're hopeful he can return by the conference tournament and maybe even sooner.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 21, 2019
Senior Bryce Brown leads a trio of prolific Auburn scorers with 16.3 PPG. junior Jared Harper (15.2 PPG) and sophomore Chuma Okeke (11.2 PPG) are the other 2 edges of the trio. Bryce’s scoring ability, Okeke’s rebounding dominance and Harper’s ease to assist and score can match the Tigers up against any ranked team.
Where to Watch
CBS will broadcast the tip-off on Saturday starting at 1:30 PM inside the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.