It has been a season of unprecedented horror for Kentucky basketball, and one other historic streak is on the road Saturday, when the Wildcats host Auburn at Rupp Enviornment on CBS. The Tigers have misplaced 18 straight in opposition to UK in Lexington, Kentucky, however are getting into this assembly as underdogs whereas the Wildcats proceed to battle by one of many worst seasons in program historical past.
If Auburn goes to get its first win in Lexington for the reason that 1987-88 season, it’ll want Sharife Cooper to show he’s the very best freshman on the courtroom. Because the No. 24 total participant within the Class of 2020, in line with the 247Sports Composite, he was ranked behind Kentucky’s Terrence Clarke and Brandon Boston Jr. However Cooper has arguably been the SEC’s finest freshman since receiving clearance to play in January.
Kentucky’s six-man freshman class ranked No. 1 nationally, however it has didn’t ship for coach John Calipari, who’s drawing the ire of UK’s passionate fan base. This UK group has already misplaced extra video games than some other through the Calipari period in Lexington, and there is sufficient time left within the season for these Wildcats to problem the 1988-89 group, which misplaced 19 video games, for probably the most losses in program historical past.
Auburn goes by a self-imposed postseason ban and does not have an entire lot to play for because the season winds down. However ending a historic shedding streak at Kentucky would certainly carry a measure of that means to an in any other case forgettable marketing campaign within the Bruce Pearl period on The Plains.
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- When: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- The place: Rupp Enviornment in Lexington, Kentucky
- TV: CBS | Reside stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports activities App (Free)
- OTT: CBS Sports activities App (Apple TV, Roku, Hearth TV, Chromecast)
Auburn: At 11-10 (5-7 SEC) total, this has been a disappointing season by the requirements Pearl has constructed for a beforehand dormant program. However Cooper has injected a heavy dose of leisure into an in any other case forgettable marketing campaign. The 6-foot freshman guard is averaging 20.2 factors and eight.7 assists per sport within the 10 contests he is performed and has reached double-figures in each sport he is performed. Cooper’s capturing share of simply 39.6% from the sector and simply 24.4% from 3-point vary should not nice, however his capacity to achieve the free-throw line have made him one of the vital efficient gamers within the league. Cooper is averaging 9.4 free-throw makes an attempt per sport and is hitting 81.9% of them.
Kentucky: Clarke was ranked because the No. 8 total participant within the class however has not performed since Dec. 26 and is more likely to miss the remainder of the season due to an ankle harm, Calipari revealed this week. However Clarke’s absence is just the start of Kentucky’s woes, that are largely attribute to poor offensive play. Although the Wildcats have improved their 3-point capturing metrics some throughout league play, they nonetheless rank tenth within the SEC in made 3-pointers per sport throughout convention play and have struggled to make up for the poor exterior capturing elsewhere. After beginning 3-0 in SEC video games, Kentucky has misplaced seven of its final eight video games and misplaced all hope of rebounding for NCAA Match consideration. At this level, defending a 46-2 all-time file at residence in opposition to Auburn on Saturday could be big reduction for this group.
Sport prediction, choose
The truth that Kentucky is favored on this sport is an indication that oddsmakers nonetheless respect the historical past of this sequence and Kentucky’s supposed home-court benefit. But it surely needs to be apparent by now that Rupp Enviornment with a dramatically diminished capability is just not that intimidating of a spot to be play for opposing groups. The Wildcats have misplaced 5 video games at residence already this season, and Auburn is greater than able to being the sixth group to win on the highway at UK this 12 months. Prediction: Auburn 78, Kentucky 74
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