Following a rash of upsets in College Basketball last weekend, Kentucky is back on top of the rankings for the first time in nearly two months. They’ll try and protect the No. 1 spot when they visit the Georgia Bulldogs.
Sportsbook odds makers opened with the Wildcats favored by -12.5 points with the
total at 132. While the spread remains unchanged, early NCAA basketball betting action has lowered the total to 129.
There were several surprises
on Saturday, but the biggest upset took place in South Bend where Notre Dame beat
previously unbeaten and No.1 Syracuse 67-58. That paved the way for the
Wildcats to complete their climb back to the top of the various polls.
The Kentucky Wildcats (19-1 SU, 4-14-1 ATS) has won 11 in a row since losing on a buzzer beater to Indiana. It’s the
Wildcats second longest winning streak under head coach John Calipari behind
the 2009-2010 team that won 19 in a row.
The Wildcats are
coming off a 77-71 victory over Alabama on Saturday which improved their home
winning streak to 47 straight games, the longest such streak in the nation. KU
had six players in double figures with Terrence Jones leading the way with 16
points while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 15 points. Doron Lamb contributed 14
points and Darius Miller netted 11 including a pair of free throws with 14
seconds remaining that iced the game. As they have done on numerous occasions
this year, Calipari’s team got the win but came up short on the cover as an -11
Lamb who leads
Kentucky in scoring (14.0) averaged a team-high 18.5 points during last
season's two-game series while Jones had 24 points and 10 rebounds during the
loss in Athens.
Kentucky (5-0) is o? to its best start
in the SEC during Calipari’s tenure.
No bite in the Bulldogs
Georgia (10-9 SU,
7-8 ATS) is coming off a 66-63 home loss to Mississippi that dropped its SEC
record to 1-4. Freshman Kentavious
Caldwell-Pope, who was heavily recruited by Kentucky, had a season-high 25
points including five 3-pointers in the Ole Miss game and is now averaging a
team-best 14.7 ppg.
Senior guard Gerald
Robinson added 19 points, six assists and five steals for Georgia against the
Rebels, but a late rally from a double-digit deficit fell short.
averaging an SEC-worst 61.9 points on 39.9 percent shooting after scoring 68.7
per game in 2010-11.
Kentucky is 63-1
under Calipari when holding an opponent to 67 points or fewer.
Kentucky meet for the 139th time tonight. Kentucky is 39-16 against Georgia in
Athens, and has won three of the last four against the Dawgs in Stegeman
Though Georgia has
won just 25 of the prior meetings, eight of them have come in the past 10
years. These two programs split a pair of games last season, Georgia prevailed
77-70 in the SEC season opener while Kentucky took a 66-60 decision in Lexington
three weeks later.
Tonight’s game will
mark the 12th time that Georgia has played the nation's No. 1-ranked team and
the Bulldogs are still looking for a win. The last time Georgia faced No. 1
came five years when Florida posted a 71-61 in Athens on Feb. 7, 2007.
The Bulldogs are
4-1 ATS in the last five series meetings including straight up victories.
The road team is
8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. The ‘under’ is 19-8-2 in Kentucky’s last 29
games including 11-7-1 this year.
Take: With some reluctance,
I’ll add Georgia to my NCAA basketball picks. Admittedly, the Bulldogs are an average team but they
will be playing in front of a riled up crowd hoping to see them knock off the
number one team in the country. I don’t see that happening but a cover is a definite