Today the Kansas Jayhawks travel to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the marquee matchup of the Big 12-SEC Challenge. Both teams are coming off a loss on Tuesday, with Kansas losing at West Virginia and Kentucky losing at Tennessee. Which team is going to go into next week with a two-game losing streak? Make sure to let us know what you think below in the comments, but first take a look at what our writers think is going to happen today.
David: Hmm...we have six regular rotation players available for a road game against KenPom’s second ranked team in the country. Start Tyler Self, Dwight Coleby, Vick, Lightfoot and whoever this Tucker Vang kid is. Rest your starters for games that matter and you get the added bonus of a huge middle finger aimed straight at ESPN. Yeah, it'll never happen, but a guy can dream. KU should hang around until fatigue sets in, then Kentucky pulls away in the last seven or eight minutes. Kentucky 81, Kansas 70
Fizzle406: I had this one pegged as a loss even before the Bragg suspension. Now I suspect Tyler Self will get some playing time. This is gonna be a blowout. I suspect we will see some hot Twitter takes on how Bill Self can’t coach too. Kentucky 100, Kansas 75
Mike: I also had this game pegged as a loss before recent events. Unfortunately, I highly doubt we see much of Tucker Vang or Tyler Self. Bill Self is too competitive to just throw in the towel like that. My line of thought is similar to David’s in that we may hang around for a while, but I can’t decide if I think we’ll hang around for 10 minutes or 30 minutes. (Although I also really, REALLY like the idea of the middle finger to ESPN.) Either way, this has 20-point loss written all over it. Oh, and P.S., I do NOT think #Motivation will be a factor, because doesn’t Kentucky start five freshmen? Do they even know what happened in Lawrence last year? I doubt it.
Regardless, Kentucky 88, Kansas 72.
dnoll5: Not feeling good about this one. Luckily, it doesn’t matter! But hey, useless games in the middle of a tight conference season are good for ratings, right? The only reason this stupid idea exists is for KU to play Kentucky. Otherwise, what’s the point? Especially if K-State isn’t playing South Carolina and Texas isn’t playing Tennessee. ESPN has gotten it all wrong, and I’d love to see this Vang guy I just discovered existed start, but we’ll probably take it seriously for some reason. As for the game, I think KU will compete and it will be closer than expected. Why not just go full video game with this one and see what happens? Play a zone, dare them to shoot jumpers, and fire away from fool’s gold range all day when you don’t get transition buckets. That’s a game plan I can get behind in this made for TV exhibition. Kentucky 89, Kansas 85.
KU Grad 08: Our guards are good enough to keep us in it, but no Bragg (and heavy Lightfoot minutes) are certainly not going to help. Kansas hangs around. Kentucka 84, Kansas 72.
Jakebogen95: Have a little faith! This isn’t Kansas State vs. Kentucky! Kansas is one of the best teams in the country. Don’t let the curse of Morgantown fool you. Kansas wins this game and this is the game everyone will point to as to why Frank Mason III won NPOY. Remember Frank the Tank hitting that shot to beat Duke? Well, be ready for him to work his magic again. Kansas 88, Kentucky 86
Matthew Zeko: With a hostile environment and controversy with Carlton Bragg Jr., look for Kentucky to lead and control the pace of the majority of the game. But, magic can happen in college basketball and Bill Self and the Jayhawks are no stranger to it. Unfortunately, I think KU needs too much to happen to go on the road and win on Saturday. Kentucky 78, Kansas 70
Andy: This setup reminds me of another recent Kansas-Kentucky matchup, but unfortunately it was the Champions Classic one where we lost by 30+ points. I think we see plenty of the bench, but mainly because the rotation is going to be in foul trouble and the game will get well out of hand. Kentucky 89, Kansas 61.