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(17) Kentucky (21-7) at South Carolina (10-18)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 6 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) -- Columbia, South Carolina. Television: ESPN. Home Record: UK 15-2, South Carolina 8-6. Away Record: UK 5-3, South Carolina 0-11. Neutral Record: UK 1-2, South Carolina 2-1. Conference Record: UK 11-4, South Carolina 3-12. Series Record: Kentucky leads, 47-10.

GAME NOTES: Two teams occupying opposite ends of the SEC standings will square off at Colonial Life Arena on Saturday evening, as the South Carolina Gamecocks play host to the 17th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.

Kentucky has been rather impressive on the season, going 21-7 overall and 11-4 in conference action, but it fell on the wrong end of a 71-67 overtime battle at home to Arkansas on Thursday, and the loss for the Wildcats allowed top- ranked Florida to clinch the regular-season SEC crown. The squad likely won't be intimidated heading out on the road in this one, as it has won four in a row away from Lexington.

Meanwhile, South Carolina's season has been a struggle from the very start at 10-18, and at 3-12 in the SEC, it is tied for last place with Mississippi State. The Gamecocks have lost three straight, most recently falling at Auburn on Wednesday night, 83-67, but there's some room for optimism in this matchup, as they have gone a solid 8-6 on their home floor.

Kentucky holds a 47-10 advantage in the all-time series, including a 77-55 triumph in the latest meeting on Feb. 5, 2013.

The Wildcats overcame a double-digit first-half deficit on Thursday to take a four-point lead with 1:13 left, but they lost control down the stretch in regulation before Arkansas sent the game into overtime with a 2-of-2 trip to the foul line with 30 seconds left, and they never held a lead in the extra session. They shot a mere 34.2 percent from the field and were also hindered by a poor 12-of-22 showing at the foul line and 18 turnovers. Willie Cauley- Stein came off the bench to tally 16 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 8- of-12 from the floor. Julius Randle also logged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Andrew Harrison netted 14 as well and James Young scored 11.

Kentucky has been successful on both ends of the floor this season, shooting 46.2 percent from the field for 77.8 ppg, while allowing 67.0 ppg on a mere 39.7 percent shooting. It also has one of the nation's best rebounding margins (+9.9), but it has been less than impressive both from 3-point range (.321) and the foul line (.680). Randle has established himself as one of the nation's premiere power forwards during his freshman campaign with 15.7 ppg and 10.3 rpg. Fellow first-year players James Young (14.4 ppg), Aaron Harrison (13.6 ppg) and Andrew Harrison (11.3 ppg, 3.5 apg) have also been impressive, while Cauley-Stein (7.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) joins Randle in the frontcourt and is a great defender with 84 blocks and 30 steals.

The Gamecocks were never much of a threat in their most recent contest, as they fell behind by 12 at the break to Auburn and never got within single digits of the lead the rest of the way. They shot only 40.4 percent from the field on the evening, while allowing Auburn to make good on 52.1 percent of its tries from the floor, and they were also hindered by a game-high 20 turnovers. Brenton Williams was a bright spot despite the setback, shooting 5- of-9 from 3-point range and 7-of-8 at the foul line on his way to 26 points. Mindaugas Kacinas netted 10 points, while Michael Carrera brought down 13 rebounds.

On the season, South Carolina ranks in the bottom half of the SEC both in terms of scoring offense (69.4 ppg) and scoring defense (71.1 ppg), and its field-goal percentage (.422) is the league's worst. Williams is the top offensive treat with 14.7 ppg thanks mostly to his 77 3-pointers made at a 43.5 percent clip, and at 87-of-91 from the free-throw line (.956), he's the nation's most accurate foul shooter. Sindarius Thornwell is the only other player to average in double figures with 13.5 ppg, although he does so on a mere 38.4 percent field-goal shooting.

Don't expect South Carolina's homecourt advantage to amount to much in this one, especially against a Kentucky squad eager to avenge its loss from earlier in the week.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kentucky 82, South Carolina 67

03/01 11:32:08 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
4th
UTAH 17
USC 21
 
3rd
WASH 0
ARST 10
 
2nd
HAW 7
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14