Kentucky will look to win its second straight game against Vanderbilt.
It has certainly been an unusual season in Lexington, where Kentucky is nowhere near the NCAA Tournament bubble, let alone the top of the bracket in mid-February. A 6-13 record will usually do that, which the Wildcats have learned the hard way after a disastrous non-conference performance put them in a hole they haven’t been able to dig out of.
With an at-large spot off the table, the only path left to March Madness for John Calipari’s team is to win the SEC’s automatic bid in the conference tournament. With the event a few weeks away, the best thing that Kentucky can do right now is to win as many games as possible to build momentum heading into the event.
Saturday’s victory over Auburn was a nice step in that direction, with the victory over the Tigers rating among the Wildcats’ best wins of the season. The contest was tight until the end but Kentucky hung on to win by a bucket as a combined 35 points from Isaiah Jackson (who also contributed 11 rebounds to earn a double-double) and Brandon Boston Jr proved to be too much for Auburn to overcome.
Next up for the Wildcats is a winnable road game against the struggling Vanderbilt Commodores, who are just 2-8 in SEC play and 6-10 on the season. The Commodores did score a nice win in their last game, blowing out Mississippi State by 21 points on the road, with three starters chipping in at least 15 points for Jerry Stackhouse’s squad.
Picking up a second straight win would allow Kentucky to build some momentum ahead of Saturday’s game against Tennessee. Vanderbilt is still building for the long haul and could look at a win over the Wildcats, even in a down year for the program, as a solid building block.
How to bet and watch Kentucky at Vanderbilt
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 17Time: 7:00 p.m. ETLocation: Nashville, TNVenue: Memorial GymnasiumTV: SEC NetworkLive Stream: WatchESPNLine: Kentucky -4 (FanDuel)Prediction: Kentucky 75, Vanderbilt 70
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