LEXINGTON, Ky. — College basketball may be in the midst of the conference season, but 20 of the country's most notable programs are stepping out to face each other in the annual SEC/Big-12 challenge on Saturday.
While No. 10 Texas at No. 4 Tennessee is the highest ranked matchup of the day, the battle getting the most hype is between Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks, who are set to take on an inconsistent but dangerous Kentucky squad at Rupp Arena.
Locked on College Basketball host Andy Patton spoke with Chris Gordy of Locked on SEC and Josh Neighbors of Locked on Big 12 to preview all ten games on the docket, coming to different opinions on how Saturday's battle in Lexington will go for the Jayhawks and Wildcats.
Kentucky is in the midst of a four-game winning streak, and the team chemistry appears to have improved dramatically after the team hit rock bottom with a home loss to South Carolina. That's enough for Gordy to pick Kentucky to win this matchup again, after they blew out Kansas last season.
"I think this is a game that Kentucky wins, and I think they win big," Gordy said. "Being at home at Rupp, I think this is one Kentucky runs away with. Just because they've been playing so much better as of late."
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Gordy mentions the recent play of Oscar Tshiebwe and the outside shooting of freshman Cason Wallace and Iowa transfer CJ Fredrick, each who have stepped up as of late to help Calipari's squad get back on track.
However, Kansas gets an entire week to prepare after playing on Monday this week, and Neighbors is confident this team won't let a repeat of last year - when they lost to Kentucky by 18 points - happen again.
"I promise you they have that game from last year on their minds," Neighbors said. "I think Kansas goes in, they kick that three game losing streak on the road in a tough place to win. If South Carolina can do it, Bill Self and the Jayhawks can do it."
Kansas and Kentucky are tipping off at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday, with Kansas hoping to get back into the win column and to keep their spot in the AP top ten, while Kentucky needs a win to help solidify their spot as an at-large team for the 2023 NCAA Tournament.