Alabama's Herbert Jones puts his arms around teammates in the final minute of Alabama's NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Unranked Kentucky Travels to Face No. 9 Ranked Alabama

The Kentucky Wildcats (5-9) travel to Tuscaloosa for a regular season matchup against the ninth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (13-3). The game tips-off at 7 p.m. ET.

The two SEC foes last faced off in Lexington, Kentucky on Jan. 12 where Alabama routed Kentucky for an 85-65 win.

With the two programs seemingly switching roles this season, a Kentucky loss would mark the first time the Wildcats have been swept by the Crimson Tide since 1988-89 season. Kentucky finished that season 13-19 and would hire Rick Pitino the following offseason.

Tonight will be the 118th all-time meeting between the two programs. Kentucky currently leads the series 86-31.

The Rolling Tide

Alabama looks to continue its hot start to the season with a win tonight. The Tide are currently in the midst of a nine-game winning streak including an 8-0 start to conference play.

This season is Alabama’s first time being ranked since they were briefly listed at No. 25 in Week 4 of the 2017-18 season. It it the first top-ten ranking for the program since the beginning of the 2006-07 season.

Alabama guards, senior John Petty Jr., sophomore Jaden Shackelford and freshman Joshua Primo, have been a force for the Tide to begin the season.

Petty Jr., who passed up on the NBA draft to return for his senior season at Alabama, leads the team in points per game (14.1), field goals per game (5) and three-point field goals per game (2.7). Shackelford follows Petty Jr. closely with averages of 13.1 points, 4.3 field goals and two threes-pointers made.

Primo, who recently won the SEC Rookie of the Week award, has also had a standout season as a freshman averaging 9.1 points while shooting over 40 percent from the field and three point line.

Alabama has averaged over 80 points per game this season while outscoring opponents by over 11 points. The Crimson Tide are currently the top-ranked team in the SEC and first in the conference standings.

Kentucky Struggles

While Alabama enjoys the one of the team’s best start in program history, Kentucky is suffering its worst start to the season in 94 years.

The Wildcats will look to win their second straight game after ending a three-game skid against LSU on Saturday.

In the game, highly-recruited freshman Brandon Boston Jr. returned to the starting lineup showing some the talent that had him ranked as the second highest rated high school senior in the country in 2020.

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