KENTUCKY WILDCATS (13-6)
at OLE MISS REBELS (17-2)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Ole Miss -2.5, Total: 146
No. 16 Ole Miss seeks a 10th straight victory when Kentucky pays a visit to Oxford, MS on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats have won nine of their past 12 games, but they are just 1-5 ATS in the past six contests. The Rebels are 6-3 ATS during their nine-game win surge, but they have failed to cover their past two victories, beating 8.5-point underdog Tennessee by 6 and 7-point underdog Auburn by 2 points on Saturday. Kentucky is 13-2 SU in the past 15 meetings with Ole Miss, but those two defeats were the past two trips to Oxford. Also, the Rebels have covered five straight regular-season games between these schools.
Can Ole Miss run its winning streak to double-digits on Tuesday night? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Gary has a strong 55% ATS (62-51-1) record for the season for college basketball Best Bets, while StatFox Dave is 53% ATS (101-91-3) on the year. StatFox Scott is 11-7 ATS (61%) in the past five days, and StatFox Brian has 12 non-losing days in the past 17 days.
Kentucky has a very efficient offense with 75.8 PPG (34th in D-I) on 48.5% FG (16th in the nation). But the Wildcats don't always get the credit they deserve defensively, as they are allowing only 62.0 PPG on 38.3% FG (26th in nation). That great FG Pct. defense has a lot to do with its 7.6 blocks per game, good for second in the country. UK is also strong on the glass with a +5.6 RPG margin (39th in nation). The best defensive player on the team is freshman C Nerlens Noel, who has 9.4 RPG (32nd in D-I), 2.42 SPG (16th in nation) and an eye-popping 4.4 BPG (2nd in nation). He has turned away at least six shots in five straight games, all versus SEC foes. Although Noel hasn't surpassed 15 points in any of his past 14 games, he still averages 10.6 PPG on 59% FG this season. Freshman SG Archie Goodwin leads the team with 14.6 PPG and also adds 5.0 RPG, 3.3 APG and 1.2 SPG. He has been in a shooting slump though, making just 35% FG and 1-of-13 threes over his past six contests. Sophomore PG Ryan Harrow (10.1 PPG, 3.5 APG) has done a nice job running the offense with a 2.2 Ast/TO ratio, but he has not played his best in the past two games with just three assists and three turnovers in 53 minutes of action. Harrow is also 0-for-10 from three-point range in the past four contests. Freshman PF Alex Poythress (13.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG) posted his first career double-double last game with 20 points and 12 rebounds in the 75-70 win over LSU. Sophomore SF Kyle Wiltjer (11.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG) has also come on strong with 14.0 PPG on 51% FG in the past four games. And in last season's lone meeting with Ole Miss, Wiltjer scored 13 points (5-of-6 FG, 3-of-4 threes) in just 19 minutes of action.
The Rebels have been outstanding on the offensive end this season with 80.3 PPG (5th in nation) thanks in large part to a +5.2 turnover margin, also fifth-best in Division I. They are also a strong defensive squad, especially in defending the three-point shot (27.5%, 5th-best in nation). Ole Miss is an elite shot-blocking team (5.7 BPG, 13th in D-I) with 9.1 steals per game (26th in nation). Junior SG Marshall Henderson leads the SEC with 19.2 PPG (25th in D-I) as he drains 3.9 threes per game, the third-most in the country. He makes 36% of his long-range tries and knocks down 87% of his free throws. In his past four games, he's attempted a hefty 49 threes, making 17 (34.7%), which has led to 21.3 PPG over this stretch. Senior F Murphy Holloway (14.8 PPG) is the 12th-best rebounder in the country at 10.4 RPG, and ranks 15th in the nation with nine double-doubles. He had 15 points and six boards in the loss to Kentucky last season. Senior PF Reginald Buckner (9.9 PPG) is also a beast in the paint with 7.9 RPG and 2.8 BPG (17th in D-I). In SEC play, he's grabbed 9.7 RPG in the six games. Sophomore PG Jarvis Summers (8.8 PPG, 3.8 APG) is one of the best floor generals in the country with a sparkling 2.96 Ast/TO ratio (12th in nation), and he's scored an impressive 12.5 PPG in conference play. He is looking to redeem himself from last season's poor showing in Lexington when he had just one point (0-for-5 FG) and zero assists in 16 minutes of action. Sophomore SG Ladarius White (4.6 PPG) is coming off a season-high 17 points (7-of-9 FG) in Saturday's 63-61 win at Auburn.