BAYLOR BEARS (4-2)
at KENTUCKY WILDCATS (4-2)
Tip-off: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET
Line: Kentucky -7, Total: 150
Two of the nationís rawest but most talented teams meet up when Baylor visits No. 8 Kentucky on Saturday.
Both these teams are off to rocky starts, with Kentucky dropping a couple of marquee games: Duke on a neutral court and at Notre Dame. Baylor was knocked off by Colorado on a neutral court and was upset at home by Charleston. This will be the Bears first true road game of the year, they were 8-3 SU and 5-5-1 ATS in true road games a year ago. Kentucky is 3-0 SU at home, but failed to cover in its only lined home game (an 11-point win over Morehead State).
Which team will deliver on their potential on Saturday? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts are a collective 52.3% ATS (81-74-5) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 4-1 ATS in the past six days and 61% ATS (17-11) for the season. StatFox Dave is at 54% ATS (32-26) for the season after going 61% ATS (23-15-1) since Nov. 17.
Baylor is led by star PG Pierre Jackson (20.3 PPG, 6.7 APG). He gives them a huge edge in the point guard matchup as UK is working PG Ryan Harrow (personal reasons) back into the lineup slowly and continuing to give major minutes to wildly inconsistent Wright State transfer Julius Mays and former walk-on Jarrod Polson. They also have plenty of size up front, where talented freshman C Isaiah Austin (14.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG) and junior PF Cory Jefferson (14.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG) will provide one of the toughest interior challenges the Wildcats have faced. The big question is the health of SG Brady Heslip (11.6 PPG, 38% 3-pt FG), their only true deep threat who missed the Charleston loss after an emergency appendectomy. Aside from Heslip, the Bears average just 3.9 three-pointers per game.
The new-look Wildcats continue to go through some growing pains. They managed just 50 points in a loss at Notre Dame on Thursday. Their leading scorer, SG Archie Goodwin (16.3 PPG) had just three points on 1-of-7 FG in that loss, and second-leading scorer PF Alex Poythress (15.8 PPG on 69% FG) had just three points and attempted only one field goal as he battled foul trouble. Poythress also battled foul problems in wins over Maryland and Long Island. The shooting of stretch PF Kyle Wiltjer (11.5 PPG, 44% threes) will likely be key; he missed all four of his three-point attempts in the Notre Dame loss. C Nerlens Noel (12.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.2 BPG) will be in a good battle on both ends of the floor with fellow freshman Austin.