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Hartford (2-9) at (3) Kentucky (13-0)



Tuesday, December 29th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Rupp Arena (23,000) -- Lexington, Kentucky. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Hartford 2-2, Kentucky 8-0. Away Record: Hartford 0-6, Kentucky 1-0. Neutral Record: Hartford 0-1, Kentucky 4-0. Conference Record: Hartford 0-0, Kentucky 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: In what appears to be a major mismatch, the third-ranked Kentucky Wildcats welcome the Hartford Hawks to Rupp Arena this evening.

Hartford enters the contest with a seven-game losing skid and a woeful 2-9 record. The team has been idle since December 11th, so it is hard to expect the Hawks to be sharp this evening. They fell to Sacred Heart last time out by a 76-65 final, and Kentucky represents a major leap in competition level.

Speaking of the Wildcats, they are a perfect 13-0 thus far, the program's best start since winning the first 14 games of the 1977-78 season that was capped off with a national title. The Wildcats defeated Long Beach State last Wednesday in an 86-73 final, and while most of the wins thus far have come over weak competition, triumphs over UConn and North Carolina bring legitimacy to the undefeated record. Kentucky has yet to play an SEC game but is clearly the favorite to win that conference.

This game marks the first-ever meeting between Kentucky and Hartford on the hardwood.

Hartford is scoring 65.0 ppg on 42.8 percent shooting from the field, so there is room for improvement at the offensive end of the court. Defensively, the club is generating 69.2 ppg, and the Hawks are being outrebounded by 7.5 rpg. Joe Zeglinski paces the program with 15.6 ppg, and Morgan Sabia checks in with 12.6 ppg. Rounding out a trio of double-digit scorers is Joel Barkers with 11.1 ppg. In the 11-point loss to Sacred Heart the last time out, Zeglinski nailed 7-of-13 three-pointers to finish with 25 points. Andres Torres and Barkers both had 11 points in that clash, but the Hawks suffered a crippling 44-21 rebounding disadvantage and a 19-4 deficit in points from the foul line.

Kentucky is arguably the most talented team in all of college basketball. The Wildcats are led by a freshman point guard John Wall, who has hit multiple game-winning shots this season and never seems to get rattled. He is scoring 17.9 ppg to go along with 82 assists and 30 steals, and the rookie is shooting 52.2 percent from the floor. Patrick Patterson, a veteran pivot, provides 17.1 ppg and 9.0 rpg while shooting 62.5 percent from the field. DeMarcus Cousins adds 14.9 ppg and 8.8 rpg, while Eric Bledsoe provides 10.1 ppg. Kentucky generates an impressive 82.1 ppg while limiting opponents to 64.7 ppg on 38.2 percent shooting. Wall scored 19 points in the 13-point triumph over Long Beach State last week, while both Cousins and Patterson posted double-doubles. The Wildcats committed just nine turnovers and earned a 22-9 edge in points from the foul line, two obvious keys to the victory.

There is no reason to expect anything other than a Kentucky blowout in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kentucky 93, Hartford 64

12/29 10:35:29 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 1
 
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
12:30pm Today
NCSU
GASO
6:00pm Tonight
DUKE
ELON
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNC
LBRTY
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
8:00pm Tonight
ECU
NCCU
 
Final
PIT 2
CIN 1
Final
BAL 9
MIN 1
Final
TOR 3
NYY 6
Final
TAM 4
BOS 8
Final
NYM 4
PHI 1
Final
ATL 5
MIA 2
Final
KAN 1
CLE 6
Final
CWS 1
DET 7
Final
HOU 6
TEX 13
Final
STL 2
CHC 7
Final
ARI 5
COL 2
Final
ANA 4
OAK 0
Final
SDP 3
LOS 2
Final
SEA 3
WAS 8
Final
SFG 13
MIL 2
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
MIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
CWS
DET
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
COL
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
CHC
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
9:05pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
WAS
 
Final
UCONN 10
BYU 35
Final
WKENT 59
BGU 31
Final
MSU 45
JVST 7
Final
COL 17
COLST 31
Final
HOU 7
TXSANANTO 27
Final
ARZ 58
UNLV 13
8:30am Today
UCF
PSU
12:00pm Today
MICH
APPST
12:00pm Today
NAVY
OSU
12:00pm Today
UAB
TROY
12:00pm Today
UVA
UCLA
12:00pm Today
PURD
WMICH
12:30pm Today
NCSU
GASO
3:00pm Today
UMASS
BC
3:30pm Today
NW
CAL
3:30pm Today
NEB
FATL
3:30pm Today
UMO
MARS
3:30pm Today
ND
RICE
3:30pm Today
MIZZ
SDST
3:30pm Today
ALA
WVU
4:00pm Today
AUB
ARK
4:00pm Today
STAN
UCD
5:30pm Tonight
UGA
CLEM
6:00pm Tonight
UNC
LBRTY
6:00pm Tonight
KSU
OHIO
7:00pm Tonight
UF
IDAHO
7:00pm Tonight
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LATU
7:10pm Tonight
KST
SAUST
7:30pm Tonight
USC
FRES
7:30pm Tonight
MSST
SMISS
8:00pm Tonight
OKST
FSU
8:00pm Tonight
TEX
UNT
8:00pm Tonight
NMU
UTEP
9:00pm Tonight
LSU
WISC
10:30pm Tonight
OREG
SD
10:30pm Tonight
HAW
WASH
Final
NOR 0
DUR 1
 
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
6:00pm Tonight
DUKE
ELON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ECU
NCCU