Kentucky vs. Kansas: Prediction, pick, spread, basketball game odds, live stream, watch online, TV channel

No. 9 Kansas and Kentucky are trending aggressively in opposite directions as the blue-blood programs prepare for a seismic showdown in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday night. The Jayhawks (16-4) have lost three straight games since rising to No. 2, while the Wildcats (14-6) have won four straight to revive a once directionless season.

While the Jayhawks remain in far better NCAA Tournament seeding than Kentucky as a projected No. 2 seed in Jerry Palm’s Bracketology, a loss would be historic for the Jayhawks. Never in coach Bill Self’s 20-year tenure have the Jayhawks lost four games in a row, and Kansas must win in one of college basketball’s most hostile arenas to prevent that from changing.

Kentucky enters as just a projected No. 10 seed in Palm’s Bracketology, but is suddenly whizzing behind a revamped rotation that turned the team’s fortunes around. After a Quad 4 home loss to South Carolina on Jan. 10, UK fell to 1-3 in SEC play, marking its worst conference start since the 1986-87 season. However, Kentucky found something in a stunning road sweep at No. 4 Tennessee on Jan. 14 and hasn’t looked back.

With two of the game’s best stars in Kansas forward Jalen Wilson and Kentucky center Oscar Tshiebwe on the floor for this primetime matchup, the UK-KU matchup could go down as one of the best of the regular season.

Kentucky vs. Kansas: Need to know

Revenge Element: When these teams met last season in Kansas, Kentucky smoked Kansas 80-62 in a top-12 matchup. Keion Brooks Jr. exploded for 27 points to lead the Wildcats, who led 51-31 at halftime and never looked back. In the end, the Jayhawks went on to win the national title, and Kentucky ended up losing to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Because of the way the season ended for both teams, UK’s huge road win over the Jayhawks stands out as one of the most lopsided results of the 2021-22 season. The Jayhawks should be motivated to get revenge.

Latest Big 12/SEC Challenge: This marks the final year of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The annual cross-conference matchup began in 2013-14 and matched the Wildcats and Jayhawks four times previously. Within the confines of the challenge, the Kansas-Kentucky series is deadlocked at 2-2, making this game a rubber match. Two games have been played at Rupp Arena and two at KU’s Allen Fieldhouse, with each school having one win and one loss on the other’s home floor.

Freshman Match: This game will bring one of the best freshman matchups of the season. Sharpshooting Kansas wing Gradey Dick and versatile Kentucky guard Cason Wallace, two of the top newcomers in the sport, will emerge as former five-star prospects in the 2022 class. Dick is averaging 14.9 points on 43.7% 3- point shooting and is an excellent sidekick to Wilson. For UK, Wallace has been the ultimate utility player with stingy defense, ball distribution prowess and solid 39.6% 3-point shooting. He played a lot of point guard during the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak, and the results have been great.

How to watch Kentucky vs. Kansas live

Date: Saturday 28 January | Time: 8 p.m. ET
placement: Rupp Arena — Lexington, Kentucky
TV: ESPN | Live Streaming: fuboTV (Try Free)

Kentucky vs. Kansas prediction, election

One of the most fascinating elements of the Kansas-Kentucky matchup is how KU’s undersized frontcourt approach will fare against UK’s interior monster, Oscar Tshiebwe. While UK has grown more versatile defensively amid a reduced role for undersized point guard Sahvir Wheeler, the Wildcats haven’t played an offense as dynamic as Kansas since they were torched by Alabama on Jan. 7. If the Jayhawks can use their undersized lineups to draw Tshiebwe away from the basket and force Kentucky to guard players like Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick and Kevin McCullar 1-on-1 off the dribble, it could be a long night for UK. Prediction: Kansas +1.5

Who will win and cover in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine for picks from the model that simulates each game 10,000 times and raises more than $1,200 for $100 players on its top-rated spread picks over the past six years.

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