College Basketball

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(13) Kentucky (12-3) at Arkansas (11-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 14, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Bud Walton Arena (19,200) -- Fayetteville, Arkansas. Television: ESPN. Home Record: UK 10-0, Arkansas 9-1. Away Record: UK 1-1, Arkansas 0-1. Neutral Record: UK 1-2, Arkansas 2-2. Conference Record: UK 2-0, Arkansas 0-2. Series Record: Kentucky leads, 25-9.

GAME NOTES: For the second straight game, the Arkansas Razorbacks will welcome a nationally-ranked SEC opponent to Bud Walton Arena, as they tangle with the 13th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday night.

Since losing a tough road contest to North Carolina on Dec. 14 (82-77), Kentucky has responded nicely with four consecutive victories, which includes a 2-0 start in the SEC. The Wildcats won their first true road game of the season on Saturday afternoon when they went into Nashville and took down Vanderbilt, 71-62.

Arkansas meanwhile, has been trending in the opposite direction with two straight losses in conference action to slip to 11-4 overall. The Razorbacks suffered their first home loss of the season to nationally-ranked Florida on Saturday, falling in heartbreaking fashion, 84-82.

The Wildcats hold a 25-9 advantage over the Razorbacks in the all-time series, which includes a 73-60 home victory in last season's matchup.

Despite getting outshot from the field by Vanderbilt over the weekend, 50 percent to 42.6 percent, the Wildcats still rolled to the nine-point victory by earning extra possessions with advantages in both rebounding (41-28) and turnovers (16-10). Willie Cauley-Stein paced the effort with 15 points, doing so on 7-of-9 from the field. Aaron Harrison netted 14 points, Andrew Harrison tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists and Julius Randle brought down 11 rebounds.

Kentucky has been dominant on both ends of the floor this season, as it shoots 47.5 percent from the field for 80.5 ppg while allowing just 65.8 ppg on 39 percent shooting. It is also one of the nation's most active teams on the glass with a +12.7 rebounding margin, but it is sometimes held back by poor showing in the turnover battle (-1.3) and at the foul line (.660). Randle's freshman season has been spectacular, as he registers 16.7 ppg (on 54 percent from the field) and 10.9 rpg. Fellow first-year players James Young (14.1 ppg), Aaron Harrison (14.0 ppg) and Andrew Harrison (10.9 ppg) have also made their mark, while Cauley-Stein joins Randle in the frontcourt and posts 10.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 3.7 bpg.

In a back-and-forth contest with Florida the last time out, Arkansas lost its lead in the waning seconds of regulation on a game-tying jumper that forced overtime, and it never lead in the extra session. Despite keeping the game close thanks to 10 3-pointers, the squad was ultimately disappointing from the floor, shooting just 37.5 percent. Rashad Madden was outstanding in spite of the setback, shooting 9-of-16 from the floor (including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc) for 23 points. Coty Clarke tallied a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, Bobby Portis logged 14 points and seven boards, while Alandise Harris and Michael Qualls poured in 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Razorbacks have grown accustomed to high point totals this season, as it shoots 47.6 percent from the field for 84.5 ppg (15th in the nation), while also boasting an outstanding scoring defense (67.9 ppg) and turnover margin (+6.3). Nobody scores more than Qualls' 12.7 ppg, but in total 10 players contribute at least 3.3 ppg to the deep bench. Portis (12.5 ppg) brings in a team-best 6.3 rpg, Madden (11.2 ppg) shoots 56.7 percent from the field and Harris scored 10.4 ppg.

There's little debate that Kentucky is the more talented team, but Arkansas, as it nearly showed against Florida over the weekend, has the capability to beat anyone on its home floor, while the Wildcats have had their share of inconsistencies on the road. Expect plenty of points in this one with the Razorbacks pulling off the upset.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 81, Kentucky 80

01/14 10:33:54 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
4th
TOR 112
DET 106
 
4th
SAN 101
MIL 95
 
Half
GSW 56
BOS 49
 
Half
DEN 59
WAS 59
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
HOU
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
 
2nd
MD 50
NW 57
 
Half
UTAH 37
WASH 30
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
2nd
CARTER 13
IRVIN 19