A titanic clash among college basketball’s blue bloods is set to take place Saturday night as No. 4 Kansas hosts No. 12 Kentucky to headline the Big 12/SEC Challenge in a matchup between two national title contenders. . It will be the first time the two have played at Allen Fieldhouse since Kansas won an overtime thriller in 2016, and the atmosphere should be electric.
The two historic powerhouses have met four times since that 90-84 Kansas win, and the Jayhawks have won three. Although KU has now won four of the last five in the series, the Wildcats still hold an all-time series record of 23-10.
The Jayhawks (17-2, 6-1 Big 12) start a 94-91 double-overtime win over No. 13 Texas Tech that showcased Ochai Agbaji’s stardom. The senior wing went from top player to absolute superstar, leading the Big 12 with 21.3 points per game on 47% 3-point shooting.
Containing Agbaji will be a chore for the Wildcats (16-4, 4-2 SEC), who are starting their own overtime win, an 82-74 win over Mississippi State on Tuesday. UK were without star first-year goalkeeper TyTy Washington for this game as he continues to recover from an ankle injury sustained in last Saturday’s loss to Auburn. Although the UK have dropped their last two road games against ranked foes – Auburn and then No. 21 LSU on Jan. 4 – both losses have come with key starting keepers missing most of the game.
Against Auburn, it was Washington who fell, while against LSU, it was starting point guard Sahvir Wheeler, who leads the SEC in assists per game. When the UK has had both available at the same time in recent weeks, it has at times seemed almost unstoppable.
How to watch Kentucky vs. Kansas live
Dated: Saturday January 29 | Time: 6 p.m. ET
Site: Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kansas
TV: ESP | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
Kentucky vs Kansas Prediction, Picks
Featured game | Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kentucky Wildcats
The last five times these teams met, the final margin of victory was eight points or less. Kentucky scratched for a win on the road, and if guards Sahvir Wheeler and TyTy Washington can stay healthy for an entire game, the Wildcats will have a chance. But Kansas is proving adept at winning close games, and they have the ultimate trump card in Ochai Agbaji. The senior superstar will be a tough game for the UK and should help the Jayhawks win a close one. Prediction: Kansas 77, Kentucky 70
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