Kentucky Wildcats at Alabama Crimson Tide – NCAAM January 26

Kentucky (5-9, 4-3) at No. 10 Alabama (13-3, 8-0)

  • Time: 4PM PST | 6PM CST | 7PM EST
  • Location: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • TV: ESPN

Tip-Off

The Crimson Tide continue to streak through the tough SEC as they have won their first eight games and nine in a row. They currently hold a two-game lead on No. 12 Missouri, who sits at 4-2. Kentucky snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over LSU on Saturday.

Alabama won the first meeting, 85-65, at Rupp Arena two weeks ago. John Petty, Jr., led Alabama with 23 points as the Tide knocked down 14 three-pointers in stylizing the win. Jaden Shackelford added 18 points as Herb Jones and Jordan Bruner were injured in the second half and did not return. Isaiah Jackson came off the bench to lead Kentucky with 14 points as the Crimson Tide held the Wildcats to 34.4 percent from the field and only 4-of-18 from three.

Vs. The Spread

Kentucky:

  • The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Kentucky’s last 14 games and UNDER has been the play in four of the Wildcats’ last five road games.
  • The ‘Cats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as the underdog
  • The Wildcats are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 outings

Alabama:

  • The Crimson Tide checks in at 7-1-1 ATS in the last 9 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 5 of Alabama’s last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of the last 7 Kentucky-Alabama matchups

Last Time Out

The Wildcats played their most thorough 40 minutes of the season as Brandon Boston, Jr., led Kentucky with 18 points and Keion Brooks, Jr., added 15 in an 82-69 decision against LSU in Rupp Arena on Saturday. The Wildcats held LSU to 38.5 percent from the field and only 4-of-23 from three. Isaiah Jackson led UK with a career-high 15 rebounds.

Alabama won it’s ninth in a row in taking an 81-73 decision at Mississippi State. Herb Jones led the Crimson Tide with 17 points and seven rebounds as the Bulldogs cut the Alabama lead to three inside of a minute. John Petty hit a triple with 32 seconds remaining to give the Tide their separation for the win. Josh Primo had 16 points, including four triples.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Kentucky +7 (-110) +240 O 148 (-110)
Alabama -7 (-110) -300 U 148 (-110)

Wildcats Stat Pack

  • Brandon Boston, Jr., shot 47 percent from the field last week in the loss to Georgi and the win over LSU.
  • Keion Brooks, Jr., is the lone returnee from a year ago who at least had some playing time. Although he missed the first nine games with a left leg injury, he has scored double figures in four of the first five games back.
  • The Wildcats are No. 14 in the nation in defensive efficiency, per kenpom, as they have held four of their last five opponents to below 40 percent from the floor.

For the Wildcats To Win

Kentucky Wildcats LogoTurnovers have been one of the major bugaboos of coach John Calipari’s young team as Kentucky averages 14.9 per game. However, in the Wildcats’ five wins, they only turn it over 11.6 times while punting it 16.7 times in the nine losses. Alabama’s physicality and pressure defense turns teams over at a 15.9 clip per game. The Tide has exacted 142 steals so far, led by 27 from Jones. The ‘Cats have five players with 21 or more turnovers, led by 33 from point guard Devin Askew.

Crimson Tide Stat Pack

  • The last time Alabama defeated Kentucky twice in one season was 32 years ago – 1988-89.
  • John Petty, Jr., and Jaden Shackelford comprise one of the best two-man combos from three in the nation as they have made 75 of Alabama’s combined 179 triples (41.9%) and have 191 of the team’s 494 total attempts from three-point land (38.7%).
  • The Tide is one of five teams in the NCAA which is ranked in the top 15 (kenpom) in offensive and defensive efficiency (13th/11th).

For the Crimson Tide To Win

Alabama Crimson Tide LogoSince this is an older team with excellent leadership, the Crimson Tide should be able to focus on the task at hand and not have a false sense of security after blistering Kentucky, 85-65, two weeks ago. The three-point game is the first place you start when trying to beat Alabama. It’s more than the greatness of Petty and Shackelford from behind the arc. Freshman Josh Primo shoots 41.9 percent from three while big man Herb Jones has netted the long ball 48.1 percent of the time to supplement his 48.9 percent from the field.

Kentucky only makes 28.2 percent of it threes and with the speed and precision of the Alabama offense, Kentucky cannot get into a run-shoot affair here or otherwise the whipping will be by more than the 20 points of last time. Bama’s possession length is 14.2 seconds per possession (4th/NCAA)

Winner: Alabama (-7) 83, Kentucky 71
Over-Under: Take OVER 148

The Bets
Alabama Crimson Tide -7
-110
OVER 148
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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