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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
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
 
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
 
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
 
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
 
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
 
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
 
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
4th
LSU 28
WISC 24
 
2nd
OREG 35
SD 13
 
Half
HAW 10
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR