Kentucky's Chris Livingston (24) dunks during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Kansas in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Kentucky Set to Clash With Mississippi State

In an SEC men’s basketball matchup tonight, the Kentucky Wildcats (16-9) head to Starkville to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs (17-8).

The Bulldogs will look to extend upon their current six-game win-streak and make a late push for the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats are in a must-win situation as they look to avoid not qualifying for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.

Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m.

State Coming in Hot

The Bulldogs’ season has been a bit of a roller coaster ride thus far.

They opened 11-0 before beginning conference play, but would eventually get upset by Drake and go on to win only one of their next nine games.

In a shocking turnaround, they are now on a five-game winning-streak, which includes a win over TCU.

Defense is key for a Mississippi State victory tonight. They win almost every game they play when they hold their opponents to under 65 points.

The Bulldogs are led by forward Tolu Smith, who is averaging 14.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game – leading the team in both statistical categories.

Kentucky Outlook

The Wildcats’ season isn’t quite living up to those of the past. They’re currently 16-9 with a conference record of 7-5.

Kentucky does have wins over Tennessee and Michigan, but hasn’t been close to as dominant as they were as recently as last season.

Although Kentucky has been a bit disappointing, their reigning Player of the Year award winner Oscar Tshiebwe hasn’t slowed down. He’s averaging 15.7 points and 13.3 rebounds per game.

Tshiebwe was also just announced as one of the top 10 candidates for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

About Daniel Haviv

Hello, my name is Daniel Haviv and I'm a junior sports journalism student at the University of Florida. As a sports writer, I have published content on a multitude of different sports across all levels. Additionally, I was a beat reporter for the Gators Men's Basketball team for the 2022-2023 season. Game-day previews and post-game articles are featured.

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