5:05 pm
December 15

Utah @ #19 Kentucky

What will be the GAME RESULT?

#19 Kentucky: Wins By 15+ Points

Any Other Result


Current odds:

Utah: (+900)

Kentucky: (-1600)


• The line for this game is Kentucky by 15.5 points.

• No. 18 Kentucky will try to overcome a pair of losses Saturday as it hosts Utah. A week earlier, the Wildcats fell to Seton Hall 84-83 in overtime at Madison Square Garden, and then a few days later, sophomore point guard Quade Green announced he has left the program to transfer. Green started 13 games as a freshman a season ago and averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists in helping lead Kentucky to the Sweet 16. This season, however, Green was relegated to a reserve role behind highly-touted freshmen Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans, and his minutes had been cut to 17.8 per game.

• Utah also has seen a young guard (freshman reserve Vante Hendrix) leave its program this preseason and is coming to Lexington off a disappointing 74-59 loss to rival BYU last Saturday in Salt Lake City.

• Saturday’s contest will serve as the final non-conference road game for the Runnin’ Utes, who have struggled with a 1-4 road/neutral-site record so far and now face a Kentucky team that has won 10 straight at home. Utah has averaged 66 points in its four losses, and senior guard Sedrick Barefield (14 points per game) and sophomore forward Donnie Tillman (11.4) are the only Utes averaging double figures. Freshman forward Riley Battin (8.5 points, 2.8 rebounds) has been elevated into the starting lineup in the last two games and set career highs with six rebounds and five assists against BYU.

• Points haven’t been as hard to come by for the Wildcats, who are averaging 84.2 per contest, which ranks 26th nationally. Freshman guard Keldon Johnson (15.2 points), senior forward/Stanford transfer Reid Travis (14.4), sophomore forward PJ Washington (14.0) and freshman guard Tyler Herro (11.6) are averaging double figures for Kentucky, which is shooting 48.8 percent from the field and had won seven straight prior to the loss to Seton Hall. Led by Washington’s 8.8 boards per outing, the Wildcats own an average rebound margin of plus-15.2, but they have had trouble defending the 3-point arc as opponents are hitting an even 40 percent of their long-range attempts.

• Kentucky leads the series 9-2, and six of those meetings have come in the NCAA Tournament, with the most noteworthy being the Wildcats’ 78-69 win in the 1998 championship game.

• Tillman (6.8 boards) and 7-foot center Jayce Johnson (5.6) are the leading rebounders for Utah, which owns an average rebound margin of plus-1.9.

• Kentucky ranks in the top 10 nationally in free-throw attempts (272) and free throws made (206) and have made 63 more free throws than its opponents have attempted so far.

StreakSmarter Pick
#19 Kentucky: Wins By 15+ Points